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Many Medical Students Suffer from Burnout & Suicidal Ideation - How does Canada Fare?

Posted Sep 29 2008 12:22am

Listen Now to NPR's program about this study via URL ***********************************************

Dyrbye LN. et al. "Burnout and suicidal ideation among U.S. medical students". Ann Intern Med 2008; 149(5): 334-341.

The results of this study of 370 medical students in 7 medical schools in the United States show that 11.2% reported suicidal ideation in the past year. Burnout and low quality of life were independent predictors of suicidal ideation. Of the students who met criteria for burnout, 99 (26.8%) recovered. Recovery from burnout was associated with markedly less suicidal ideation . Although response rates (52% for the cross-sectional study and 65% for the longitudinal cohort study) are typical of physician surveys, nonresponse by some students reduces the precision of the estimated frequency of suicidal ideation and burnout.

Conclusion: ~ 50% of students experience burnout and 10% experience suicidal ideation during medical school. Burnout seems to be associated with increased likelihood of subsequent suicidal ideation, whereas recovery from burnout is associated with less suicidal ideation.

Canadian research: PubMed search ...

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