Burnout Among US Medical Students, Residents, and Early Career Physicians Relative to the General US Population

This study, published in Academic Medicine, sought to compare the prevalence of burnout and other forms of distress across career stages and the experiences of trainees and early career (EC) physicians versus those of similarly aged college graduates pursuing other careers. In 2011 and 2012, the authors conducted a national survey of medical students, residents/fellows, and EC physicians (≤ 5 years in practice) and of a probability-based sample of the general U.S. population. All surveys assessed burnout, symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation, quality of life, and fatigue. Results indicated that training appears to be the peak time for distress among physicians, but differences in the prevalence of burnout, depressive symptoms, and recent suicidal ideation are relatively small. At each stage, burnout is more prevalent among physicians than among their peers in the U.S. population.

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