Study: Nearly half of medical students are burned out before reaching residency

Residency Program Insider, March 9, 2018

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A study of more than 16,500 medical students found that 46% (approximately 8,000) were suffering from burnout, increasing their risk of depression, emotional exhaustion, and dropping out of medical school. The findings have struck a chord with researchers, highlighting the urgent need to develop preemptive strategies to improve resident mental health.

While burnout among medical students in Europe was relatively high, the issue was found to be more prevalent in North America. However, the study’s authors stressed that North America has conducted far more studies on the mental health of their medical students than Europe.

According to the study’s authors, burnout is that it is usually recognized later, after damage has already been done. Previous studies attribute occurrences of burnout to the amount of duty hours expected of residents. Hospitals and school faculty that have implemented relaxation programs report a drop in burnout rates among students, who in turn have experienced reduced rates of depression because they felt that their welfare was valued by the organization. As of now, no long-term studies have been conducted on the correlation of burnout during medical school being predictive of burnout later in their career. 

Source: Medscape

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