Burnout in medical students: Examining the prevalence and associated factors

Sally A. Santen, Danielle B. Holt, Jean D. Kemp, Robin R. Hemphill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Objective: Burnout has been described as a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased personal accomplishment, and may originate during medical school. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of burnout and contributing factors in medical students. Methods: A survey was administered to 249 medical students using a modified Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) and scales of stressors, assessment of workload, relaxation, control, accomplishment, support systems, and demographics. Results: Moderate or high degree of burnout was seen in 21% of the first year class, 41% of the second year class, 43% of the third year class, and 31% of the fourth year class (P < 0.05). Lower support, higher stress, and lack of control over one's life were significantly related to burnout using multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Burnout progressively develops over the course of medical education, while a high level of support and low stress decreased burnout.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-763
Number of pages6
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • burnout
  • medical students
  • resiliency
  • stress


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