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J Osteopath Med




CONTEXT: Healthcare workers are at a high risk of infection during infectious disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the availability of several vaccines against COVID-19, the absence of vaccination in patients and colleagues remains a continuous source of stress in healthcare workers. We conducted a survey of physician preceptors, both MDs and DOs, to explore the impact of differences in the patients' and colleagues' vaccination status on their well-being, stress, and burnout.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to determine whether exposure to unvaccinated patients and/or colleagues increases stress and burnout in physician preceptors by utilizing a self-reported survey.

METHODS: This multi-institutional study was carried out in the United States in 2022. An online survey questionnaire was utilized to collect data from physicians working as preceptors for multiple academic institutions. The anonymous Qualtrics

RESULTS: A total of 218 physician preceptors completed the survey. The survey results showed that physicians overwhelmingly (p < 0.001) felt that all patients (and healthcare workers) should be vaccinated. The results also indicated that physicians experienced more stress when working with unvaccinated patients (p

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that physician stress and burnout is a common theme due to the differences in vaccination status of patients admitted to COVID-19 clinics. Due to a more rapid progression of COVID-19 in unvaccinated patients, treatment plans for vaccinated vs unvaccinated patients were also considerably different.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Published Citation

Zahl, Sarah, Mondal, Debasis, Tolentino, David, Fischer, Jennifer A. and Jimenez, Sherry. "Physician stress in the era of COVID-19 vaccine disparity: a multi-institutional survey" Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, vol. 123, no. 7, 2023, pp. 351-355.

Available for download on Friday, April 19, 2024