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Acad Psychiatry. 2016 Feb;40(1):55-62. doi: 10.1007/s40596-015-0375-0. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Factors Modifying Burnout in Osteopathic Medical Students.

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A.T. Still University, Kirksville, MO, USA.
A.T. Still University, Kirksville, MO, USA.



The purposes of the current study are to examine factors modifying burnout and identify which of these factors place osteopathic medical students at risk for developing burnout.


The current study used a cross-sectional study design and an anonymous, web-based survey to assess burnout and depression in osteopathic medical students. The survey included Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Patient Health Questionnaire, the Stressors and their impact scale, students' sleeping and studying habits, and students' extracurricular involvement.


In total, 1294 osteopathic medical students completed the survey. Burnout was present in 516 (39.9%) osteopathic medical students, and 1006 (77.0%) met criteria for depression. Females were 1.5 times more likely to be burned out in comparison to males. For the burnout subscales, males had lower emotional exhaustion, slightly higher depersonalization, and lower personal accomplishment. Lesbian/gay/bisexual/asexual students were 2.62 times more likely to be burned out compared with heterosexual students. Depression and academic, personal, and family stressors were all strongly linked to overall burnout. Finally, for modifiable factors, average hours of sleep, average hours spent studying, and club involvement appeared to be linked to burnout.


The current study suggested that a variety of factors, including non-modifiable, situational, and modifiable, impact burnout in osteopathic medical students. Future research is necessary since burnout in physicians affects the quality of care provided to patients.


Burnout; Depression; Emotional problems; Medical students; Support

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