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2020 North Carolina Burnout Survey Preliminary Findings

Bill Claytor, DDS, MAGD
NCCDP Associate Director

The information below are the preliminary findings on the NC Burnout Survey through November 13, 2020. The survey is sponsored by the NC Caring Dental Professionals and endorsed by the NC Dental Society and NC Dental Society Foundation. The statistics are approximate and the final report will be in more detail at the end of the survey campaign after November 30, 2020. The final report with commentary and summary suggestions will appear in the NCCDP Caring Connections digital newsletter that will be published in the Spring of 2021.

2020 NC Burnout Survey Campaign

(September 22 through November 30, 2020)

Total Surveys Sent
~ 12,000

Total Dentist & Dental Hygiene Respondents to Survey
(Through November 13, 2020)

Dentists Results
(60% of Total Respondents)

General Statement for Dentists


  • Emotional Exhaustion (spiritual, physical and psychological components)
  • Deporsonalization (cynicism, sarcasm, compassion fatigue)

Remained stable:

  • Work accomplishment (remained stable)

Burnout in N.C. Dentists:

  • 44.2%: Engaged with dentistry / life.
  • 53.8%: Remain ineffective, Overextended, Disengaged or Burnout with dentistry / life.

Mismatch – Areas of Work-Life Survey (AWS)

(Indicates sources of in-office burnout)

  1. Workload (overload)
  2. Reward (insufficient)
  3. Community (breakdown)

Pandemic Experiences and Perceptions Survey (PEPS)

  • 75% of respondent dentists stated the pandemic affected their organization, work unit and personal life from a moderate to large degree.
  • 75% stated they had mostly adequate PPEs, supplies and equipment, information from management, plus support staff competence and availability.
  • 60 – 80% stated minor risk due from the pandemic to yourself, your families, patients, and colleagues.
  • > 75% of dentists stated the leadership experience during the pandemic was fairly often with the organizational management and their immediate supervisor(s).

NC Questions:

  1. Do you worry or are you concerned about needing to take more Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), working more hours/days, etc., during this Covid-19 period to help with lost revenue?

21%: Most likely to most definitely
43%: Definitely not
36%: To some degree to neutral

  1. If you received government assistance or loans during Covid-19, do you have concerns about paying it back in a timely fashion?

18%: Most likely to most definitely
41%: Definitely not
41%: To some degree to neutral

  1. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020), have you considered retiring, cutting back from work, selling or changing how you plan to practice dentistry in the future (other than following the recommended CDC guidelines)?

31%: Most likely to most definitely
41%: Definitely not
28%: To some degree to neutral

  1. In North Carolina, I feel confident that dentistry will rebound from Covid-19 and be better than ever, including practice growth and productivity.

56%: Most likely to most definitely
7%: definitely not
37%: To some degree to neutral

  1. Personal Challenges (Top 4):

1 – Anxiety
2 – Decreased quality of sleep, worrying
3 – Financial problems
4 – Weight change (gain or loss)(tie)
4 – Feelings of insecurity or lack of purpose (tie)

  1. Practice Challenges (Top 4):

1 – “Big dip” in hygiene schedule / production from mid-September to mid-November 2020
2 – Planning for the future
3 – PPE/supply maintenance
4 – Financial sustainability