The Silent Epidemic: Causes and Consequences of Medical Learner Burnout

Link to article at PubMed

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2020 Nov 28;22(12):86. doi: 10.1007/s11920-020-01211-x.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Clinician burnout has significant socioeconomic, health, and quality of life implications. However, there has been little attention directed at medical students and house officers (i.e., medical learners). This review provides pertinent evidence regarding burnout as it relates to medical learners including risk factors and potential interventions. We conclude with recommendations on future research directions and potential approaches to address this epidemic of medical learner burnout.

RECENT FINDINGS: Burnout is a significant issue among medical learners that is impacted both by interpersonal and environmental factors. There are points of heightened vulnerability for medical learners throughout their training. However, studies are unable to reach consensus regarding effective interventions to mitigate the impact of burnout. Furthermore, some elements of burnout are not readily reversible even after removing risk factors. Burnout is a significant concern for medical learners with wide-ranging physical, emotional, and psychosocial consequences. However, the current body of literature is sparse and does not provide consistent guidance on how to address burnout in medical learners. It is clear additional attention is needed in understanding burnout among learners and establishing proactive approaches to minimize its negative impact.

PMID:33247376 | PMC:PMC7695582 | DOI:10.1007/s11920-020-01211-x

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