Stress and Professional Burnout Among Newly Graduated Dentists

J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. Nov-Dec 2016;6(6):535-541. doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.195509.


Background: Dentists encounter numerous professional stressful situations, beginning from education to day-to-day practice. The resulting stress tends to have a negative impact on their personal as well as professional lives.

Objectives: To measure daily burnout, and to investigate the extent of expectations from dental career and the feeling of being unqualified new dental practitioner.

Materials and methods: A close-ended questionnaire, i.e., "the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory," was utilized for evaluation. A total of 121 dentists with an experience ranging between 6 months and 5 years were included. The period was considered initiating from graduation to dental practicing in urban or rural areas. Ninety-seven dentists replied with filled questionnaires (80.16%). The multivariant analysis was done using SPSS 11.0 ver. (Chicago, USA).

Results: Using measures analysis, the mean scores for dentists on the basis of age and sex (n = 97) were calculated. The factors most commonly considered responsible for professional burnout were emotional exhaustion (39.27%), frustrations (47.83%), feeling worn out at the end of the day (35.05%), feeling worn out at the end of the working day (46.80%), exhaustion in the morning at the thought of another day at work (35.05%), feeling that every working hour is tiring (46.80%), less energy and less time for family and friends (47.83%). The most common cause for stress was professional burnout that was recorded commonly in females in the age range of 26-28 years.

Conclusions: Dentists are more prone for professional burnout, anxiety, and depression. The main reason for this is the nature of their practice and their personality traits, especially while pursuing dentistry as a carrier. Stress may lead to negative impact on dentists' personal as well as professional lives.

Keywords: Burnout; practice management; psychology.