Objective: To evaluate the relationships between immediate supervisors’ leadership qualities and the subsequent levels and changes in burnout and satisfaction of supervised physicians 2 years later. Participants and Methods: In 2015 and 2017 physicians were asked to complete surveys that included the 9-item Mayo Clinic Leadership Score (range, 9 to 45) assessing their supervisor, an item about satisfaction with the organization, and two items from the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Individual participants’ responses to the surveys were linked. Results: Among the 3698 physicians invited to complete both the 2015 and 2017 survey, 1795 (48.5%) responded. The mean composite baseline leadership score was 38.1 (SD, 8.4). Lower mean baseline leadership scores were reported by physicians who had burnout (mean [SD], 36.0 [9.7] vs 39.1 [7.3]; P<.001) 2 years later in comparison to those who did not have burnout 2 years later. In multivariable analysis, higher baseline leadership score of supervisors was independently associated with lower odds of physicians having burnout 2 years later (for each 1-point increase, odds ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96 to 0.99; P=.002) after adjusting for burnout at baseline, age, gender, length of service, and specialty. Baseline composite leadership score of supervisors was also independently associated with physicians’ satisfaction with the organization 2 years later (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.07; P<.0001). Conclusion: Physicians’ ratings of their immediate supervisors’ leadership qualities were associated with their subsequent levels and changes in burnout and satisfaction 2 years later. Additional studies are needed to determine the effect of sharing such scores with immediate supervisors and providing additional leadership training to those with low scores, and if doing so ultimately reduces burnout and improves satisfaction of the supervised physicians.
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