Background: Burnout is a common syndrome seen in healthcare workers, particularly physicians who are exposed to a high level of stress at work; it includes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. Burnout among physicians has garnered significant attention because of the negative impact it renders on patient care and medical personnel. Physicians who had high burnout levels reportedly committed more medical errors.

Objectives: To assess level of burnout and its associated factors among physicians working in public hospitals of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State, 2017.

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Methods: Institution based cross–sectional survey was conducted using structured self-administered questionnaires from March 13 to April 11, 2017. Maslach’s Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey was used to measure burnout. Collected data were entered in to Epi Data version 3.1, and transferred to SPSS version 21 software. Descriptive statistics, bi-variate and multivariable linear regression analysis were performed. P-value < 0.05 was used to determine an association between independent and dependent variables. Result: Four hundred ninety one respondents were participated. The burnout level is high in all the three dimensions. Age (?: -0.007, 95% CI: -0.011, -0.003), receiving recognition regarding work (?: -0.047, 95% CI: -0.091, -0.004) and monthly salary (?: -0.012, 95% CI: 0.007, 0.016) were negatively associated with emotional exhaustion score. On the other hand, number of patients observed per week (?: 0.001, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.001) was positively associated with emotional exhaustion score. Age, working in primary hospital, having any support from family and or organization, monthly salary and getting professional training was found to be negatively associated with depersonalization score. Conclusion and recommendation: Burnout was found to be in a high level among physicians currently working in public hospitals of South Nations Nationalities and Peoples region. Receiving recognition from others, age, working in primary hospital, monthly salary having any support from family and organization, and getting professional training can possibly minimize the level of burnout among physicians in the region. All the concerned bodies should work collaboratively to decrease the risk of burnout by addressing the contributing factors identified by this study.

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