Background: The demand of thrombectomy treatment for acute ischemic stroke increased dramatically in the United States after the publication of 5 pivotal trials in 2015. The impact of call burden on career satisfaction and burnout in neurointerventionalists has not been explored. Methods: A qualitative approach was chosen to obtain rich, detailed accounts of physician experiences. From July 2018 to July 2019, we conducted in-depth, semistructured interviews (mean duration, 43 minutes) with 16 academic neurointerventionalists from various institutions in the United States. Participants were chosen from the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery to include multiple specialties, career stages, and geographic locations. Key themes/subthemes were organized into a conceptual model and shown by exemplary quotes. Results: Participants report a diverse range of previously uncharacterized ways in which stroke call responsibilities affect their lives. Unrealistic performance expectations, discipline-based inequalities, poor organizational workflow, limited opportunities for growth and advancement, and lack of control over call conditions are some of the key themes identified. Participants describe a need for interventions that address both the issues of workload stress (i.e., resources for stroke call and administrative work) and their ability to accomplish professional goals (i.e., flexible work arrangements, leadership autonomy support, and organizational value congruence). Conclusions: The burden of stroke call has strong implications for career satisfaction and burnout in neurointerventionalists. This model can be used by hospitals, departments, and physician groups to better conceptualize conditions that facilitate burnout and attrition. Changes to hospital management practices and culture may be the most productive focal areas for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e552-e564
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy


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