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Exhaustion-Related Burnout Higher in Underrepresented Medical Students

Last Updated: March 08, 2022.

TUESDAY, March 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students who are underrepresented in medicine (URIM) have a higher risk for exhaustion-related burnout, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Jamieson M. O’Marr, from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues analyzed responses from 26,567 graduating medical students to the American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire (2016 and 2017) to assess self-reported burnout.

The researchers found that medical students who are URIM reported modestly higher levels of exhaustion-related burnout and modestly lower mean burnout scores associated with disengagement. URIM medical students also reported marginally less favorable student-faculty interactions in the learning environment. It was more likely for medical students who are URIM to be in the top quartile of those who experienced exhaustion-related burnout (odds ratio, 1.19) but less likely for them to be in the top quartile for disengagement (odds ratio, 0.87). Those who reported learning environment scores in the bottom quartile were more likely to experience higher rates of burnout, regardless of URIM status, as were those who experienced at least one episode of discrimination.

"Reducing discrimination and identifying and addressing relevant components of the learning environment must be prioritized to prevent burnout in medical students who are URIM," the authors write.

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