The effect of patient satisfaction scores on physician job satisfaction and burnout

Byron J. Schneider, Reza Ehsanian, Alex Schmidt, Lisa Huynh, David J. Kennedy, Dermot P. Maher, Sterling Haring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physician burnout is recognized as reversible with the potential to negatively influence quality of care and patient outcomes. The study objective was to evaluate associations between patient satisfaction scores (PSS) and physicians' perceptions of job satisfaction and burnout via a physician survey. Eighty two out of 107 report PSS are institutionally tracked, with 23/107 and 39/107 reporting PSS utilization in financial compensation or performance review, respectively. Fifty four out of 107, report pressure to emphasize PSS; 63/107, report PSS having negative effect on job satisfaction; 31/107 considered leaving their job or career due to PSS and 84/107 report PSS contribute to burnout. In the cohort of physicians treating patients with spine pain who responded to this survey, PSS are associated with decreased job satisfaction and increased burnout. Physician burnout can have a negative impact on the quality of care provided to patients as well as medical outcomes of patients. The current study investigates if patient satisfaction surveys are associated with physician perceptions of job satisfaction and burnout. The study reveals that there may be an association between patient satisfaction surveys and decreases in job satisfaction as well as increases in burnout of physicians. Although no definitive correlation (i.e., we cannot prove that one thing causes another) can be made from this study, it underscores the need for further research and careful analysis of the impact of these metrics (patient satisfaction surveys) on the well-being of physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0136
JournalFuture Science OA
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • burnout
  • job satisfaction
  • pain
  • patient satisfaction
  • physicians
  • professional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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