University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

Assessing Burnout and Resilience in the Occurrence of Medical Errors


Primary Care


Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C



Clinician burnout is of increasing concern, particularly in the front line practices of primary care, emergency medicine, and internal medicine. Medical errors have been shown to be higher among clinicians suffering from burnout. Burnout has been defined as an adaptive disorder characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency in practice, and correlates with disrupted personal relationships, substance misuse, depression, and suicide. Resilience has been defined as the ability to implement behaviors that enable an individual to overcome the potential adverse effects of stressors and is considered a dynamic process that can be cultivated and nurtured through the course of an individual’s life. Correlating medical errors with clinician burnout and resilience is of significance for the sustainability of health care yet data is lacking to correlate these conditions. Further analysis will be assisted by the standardization of tools to measure burnout and resilience; ethical considerations preclude clinical trials and thus retrospective analyses will likely yield the necessary data.

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