PhD Scientific Days 2019

Budapest, April 25–26, 2019

Hungarian physicians’ and medical students’ burnout in association with background characteristics.

Szél, Zsuzsanna

Zsuzsanna Szél, M.D. 1
Zsuzsa Győrffy, PhD 2
1, 2, Institute of Behavioural Sciences Semmelweis University, Hungary

Language of the presentation


Text of the abstract

Burnout amongst medical professionals is a well-known problem, which affects not only the
well-being, drop-out or career departure and health of these professionals but the quality of care
and patient satisfaction. In the last decades, several studies have aimed to investigate the
background factors associated with burnout and tried to identify potential solutions for
this issue.
The aim of our present study was to investigate similarities and differences in physicians' and medical students' burnout.
We performed an anonym self-administered online survey in two samples: among medical
students (n=530) and physicians (n=269) with the cooperation of Hungarian medical universities
and the Hungarian Medical Chamber. The questionnaire contained questions about university,
work conditions, health behaviour, mental and physical health (State-Trait Anxiety
Inventory [STAI], Maslach Burnout Inventory [MBI], Perceived Stress Scale [PSS], Patient
Health Questionnaire [PHQ], Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support [MSPSS],
Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale [CD-RISC] and the Effort–Reward Imbalance Questionnaire)
and personal background characteristics.
Moderate or high risk for burnout was reported by 34,9% of physicians and 75,1% of medical
students. Higher risk for burnout was associated with some of the respondents’ background
characteristics such as gender, age, minority status, physicians’ job characteristics e.g. position
(residents 89.5% vs. specialists 37.6%) and working hours (part-time 17.3% vs. full-time 44.3%)
and some of the mental health indicators (STAI scores, resilience, perceived stress) in the
univariate analysis. In the students’ sample, perceived stress, resilience, minority identity and
experienced discrimination remained significant. Meanwhile only state anxiety and working
conditions – working hours and work position – persisted significant in the case of the
post-graduated sample.
Our results suggest that “external reasons” (such as working conditions) have a more pervasive
effect on physicians' risk for burnout syndrome than "internal reasons"- unlike our previous
study, which was conducted among medical students, we found that in their case “internal
reasons” played a more significant role on their risk to burnout. Further investigations are needed
in order to clarify the nature of the differences mentioned above.

Data of the presenter

Doctoral School: Mental Health Sciences
Program: 02. Mental Health Sciences
Supervisor: Zsuzsa Győrffy
E-mail address: