Mayo Clinic: Burnout Persists Among Medical Residents, Despite Shortened Work Hours

Feelings of burnout persist among internal medicine residents, despite significant cutbacks in duty hours in recent years, a national study by Mayo Clinic found.

Mayo Clinic researchers surveyed 16,394 U.S. residents in training in 2008-2009, representing three-fourths of U.S. internal medicine residents. The study reveals that 51.5 percent of residents reported burnout symptoms, 45.8 percent noted emotional exhaustion and 28.9 percent had feelings of depersonalization, reflected in cynicism and/or callousness.

The study also found markedly lower quality of life, lower satisfaction with work-life balance and increased burnout among those with debt, especially those owing more than $200,000.

Researchers noted that physician well-being is important for both the physician and the patients, as burnout, depression and other negative feelings/perceptions can contribute to medical errors and poor care practices.

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