CC BY 4.0 · Avicenna J Med 2023; 13(02): 117-129
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1770701
Original Article

Career Satisfaction and Burnout among American Muslim Physicians

1   Initiative on Islam and Medicine, Brookfield, Wisconsin, United States
1   Initiative on Islam and Medicine, Brookfield, Wisconsin, United States
2   Department of Emergency Medicine, HUB for Collaborative Medicine, The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding The principal data collection and partial time-effort for AIP were funded by the John Templeton Foundation (#20877) as part of the Faculty Scholars Program in the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago.


Background Career satisfaction and burnout among physicians are important to study because they impact healthcare quality, outcomes, and physicians' well-being. Relationships between religiosity and these constructs are underexplored, and Muslim American physicians are an understudied population.

Methods To explore relationships between career satisfaction, burnout, and callousness and Muslim physician characteristics, a questionnaire including measures of religiosity, career satisfaction, burnout, callousness, and sociodemographic characteristics was mailed to a random sample of Islamic Medical Association of North America members. Statistical relationships were explored using chi-squared tests and logistic regression models.

Results There were 255 respondents (41% response rate) with a mean age of 52 years. Most (70%) were male, South Asian (70%), and immigrated to the United States as adults (65%). Nearly all (89%) considered Islam the most or very important part of their life, and 85% reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their career. Multivariate models revealed that workplace accommodation of religious identity is the strongest predictor of career satisfaction (odds ratio [OR]: 2.69, p = 0.015) and that respondents who considered religious practice to be the most important part of their lives had higher odds of being satisfied with their career (OR: 2.21, p = 0.049) and lower odds of burnout (OR: 0.51, p = 0.016). Participants who felt that their religion negatively influenced their relationships with colleagues had higher odds of callousness (OR: 2.25, p = 0.003).

Conclusions For Muslim physicians, holding their religion to be the most important part of their life positively associates with career satisfaction and lower odds of burnout and callousness. Critically, perceptions that one's workplace accommodates a physician's religious identity associate strongly with career satisfaction. In this era of attention to physician well-being, the importance of religiosity and religious identity accommodations to positive career outcomes deserves focused policy attention.

Publication History

Article published online:
03 July 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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