Objective: Because medical residency is a stressful time for training physicians, placing residents at increased risk for psychological distress, the authors studied the prevalence of burnout, perceived stress, and depression in cardiology residents in Argentina and examined the association between sociodemographic characteristics and these syndromes.
Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional observational study of 106 cardiology residents in Argentina and a comparison group of 104 age- and gender-matched nonmedical professionals. The main outcome measures included the prevalence of burnout with the Maslach Burnout Inventory, distress with the Perceived Stress Scale, and depression with the Beck Depression Inventory.
Results: One hundred six residents completed the survey. Of these, 31.3% were women, the mean age was 29.1 years old, and half were married. Respondents worked an average of 64 hours per week, and 60% of the residents needed a second job. High emotional exhaustion and depersonalization was found in the majority of respondents. Significant depressive symptoms were found in less than half of residents, and stress was on average 21.7 points on the Perceived Stress Scale. Residents who had a second job showed high levels of depersonalization. No other association was found with sociodemographic characteristics. There were no differences in sociodemographic characteristics of residents compared with nonmedical professionals, but nonmedical professionals worked less hours per week, had a lower percentage of second jobs, and higher salary. Burnout, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress were significantly lower in the reference group.
Conclusion: Cardiology residents in Argentina exhibit high levels of burnout, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms, which warrants greater attention to the psychological needs of residents.