Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Prevalence of burnout syndrome among medical residents: experience of a developing country
  1. Khalil Ashkar1,
  2. Maya Romani1,
  3. Umayya Musharrafieh1,
  4. Monique Chaaya2
  1. 1Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  1. Correspondence to Monique Chaaya, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 11-2036, Lebanon; mchaaya{at}


Background It has been well established that burnout, defined as emotional exhaustion (EE), de-personalisation (DP), and a ‘decreased sense of personal accomplishment (PA) due to work related stress’, is prevalent to a great extent among medical residents. This has been implicated in the delivery of suboptimal patient care. Residents in developing countries work under difficult working and social conditions and therefore examining burnout is important when addressing quality of care and working conditions.

Objectives The objectives of the study were to assess the point prevalence of burnout among residents in Lebanon and investigate some of the work and non-work related factors associated with burnout.

Methods A cross sectional study of all medical residents was carried out in two major hospitals in the capital city. A total of 155 residents responded, representing all specialities. Maslach Burnout Inventory for Health Services Workers (MBI-HSS) was used. Burnout in three domains was dichotomised into high versus not high burnout.

Results The prevalence of burnout was high in all the domains with the highest in the domain of emotional exhaustion (67.7%). 80% of the sample had a high level of burnout in at least one domain. Being female, experiencing a major stress, working for more than 80 h per week, and having more than eight calls per month increased the odds of burnout in at least one domain.

Conclusions The high burnout level calls for action. This could be addressed by re-examining workload and other working conditions of residents as well as attending to their psychological wellbeing. The limitations of the study are also discussed.

  • Burnout
  • medical residents
  • stress
  • work-related
  • developing country
  • education and training (see medical education and training)
  • human resource management
  • quality in healthcare

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the American University of Beirut Medical Center and the Hariri Public Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.