Nearly half of med students are burned out before residency: 4 things to know

Almost half of medical students said they suffered from burnout before they reached residency, increasing their risk of depression and medical school dropout, according to a Medscape report.

In a meta-analysis of more than 16,500 medical students, Ariel Frajerman, MD, and colleagues found approximately 46 percent of these students suffered from burnout. Emotional exhaustion was their most common symptom.

Here are four things to know about the study.

1. To determine burnout rates in medical students who had not yet reached residency, Dr. Frajerman's research team conducted a systematic search of the Medline database for studies published in English between 2010 and 2017.

2. The research team included studies that assessed burnout using validated questionnaires. The meta-analysis selected 23 studies, involving a total of 16,769 medical students.

3. The prevalence of medical student burnout was highest in Middle Eastern countries. Dr. Frajerman attributes this to the region's poor working conditions due to ongoing war and terrorism.

4. Burnout prevalence was higher in North America than in Europe. However, Dr. Frajerman said only four of the included studies were conducted in European countries.

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