Introduction The aim of the study was to determine stress factors related to medical education as predictors of burnout in medical students (MS) in the 5th year of studying, just before entering the world of work.
Methods Actual cross-sectional study was conducted by the Institute of Occupational Health of RM, including 165 MS in the 5th year of medical studies. Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory, and Socio-economic and Studying Conditions Questionnaire were used. Multiple regression models were tested to examine the associations of stress factors related to medical education to burnout dimensions controlling for age, learning hours/week, and interpersonal relationships with parents/friends.
Results Bivariate analyses showed significant positive correlations of burnout dimensions with all domains of MS stressors. Emotional exhaustion demonstrated significant positive correlations with learning hours/week (r=0.234, p=0.003), and poorer interpersonal relationships with parents (r=0.193, p=0.014) and friends (r=0.343, p<0.001), while depersonalization only with poorer interpersonal relationships with friends (r=0.258, p=0.001). Multiple regression analyses revealed that domain Academic related stressors (examination systems, academic schedule, getting poor marks, high-self expectation to do well, large amount of content to be studied, lack of time, etc.) (Standardised Beta=0.359, p=0.006), poorer interpersonal relationships with friends (Standardised Beta=0.244, p=0.001), and learning hours/week (Standardised Beta=0.140, p=0.044) were significant predictors of higher emotional exhaustion (R 2=0.418). On the other hand, only poorer interpersonal relationships with friends positively predicted depersonalization (Standardised Beta=0.197, p=0.019) (R 2=0.159).
Discussion Actual study shows that psychosocial factors in MS entering the world of work are related to higher burnout scores. Preventive strategy oriented towards improvement of health and safety at work in physicians should involve measures for tackling academic related stressors in MS in order to reduce later burnout development.
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