CHAPTER 24

Burnout: What It Is and How to Measure It

by Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter

Over the past few years, it has been widely reported that burnout is rampant and growing throughout the world, with alarming statements like “50% of physicians are burned out,” or “millennials are now the burnout generation.” Burnout is seen as a major problem for many people, and the strong implication is that it is getting worse. However, the phenomenon of burnout is not new—people who have been worn out and turned off by the work they do have appeared in both fictional and nonfictional writing for centuries. In the past 60 years, the term “burnout” has become a popular way of describing this particular phenomenon—for example, the novel entitled ...

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