Objective: Burnout is a work-related syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and lack of personal accomplishment (PA). We hypothesized that the transition into an environment of high physical, intellectual, and emotional demands of the medical profession would lead to an increase in the prevalence of burnout in pediatric residents, which would remain high throughout residency.
Methods: The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was administered to pediatric residents at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital 6 times between February 2010 and February 2012. These times corresponded to the start of residency, mid-intern year, end-intern year, mid-junior year, end-junior year, and mid-senior year.
Results: Mean values of burnout components changed significantly between the start of residency and mid-intern year. EE increased from 15.8 to 24.5 (P < .001), DP increased from 4.5 to 9.2 (P < .001), and PA decreased from 40.2 to 38.3 (P = .04). Similarly, the prevalence of burnout increased from 17% to 46% (P = .012), or 2% to 24% (P = .002) using more restrictive criteria, between the start of residency and mid-intern year. Significant changes in mean scores or prevalence of burnout were not found between any other consecutive times throughout residency.
Conclusions: This longitudinal study documented a significant increase in the components of burnout among pediatric residents between the start of residency and mid-intern year, which persisted through the PGY2 and PGY3 years. Further studies are warranted to identify correlates of resident burnout and to develop preventative strategies to reduce its occurrence.
Keywords: burnout; longitudinal; pediatric residency.
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