Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 189–194 | Cite as

Risk and Resilience Factors Associated with Resident Burnout

  • Deanna ChaukosEmail author
  • Emma Chad-Friedman
  • Darshan H. Mehta
  • Laura Byerly
  • Alper Celik
  • Thomas H. McCoyJr
  • John W. Denninger
In Brief Report



We investigated hypothesized risk and resilience factors and their association with burnout in first year medicine and psychiatry residents at an urban teaching hospital in order to help guide the development of interventions targeted at reducing burnout.


We administered the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Perceived Stress Scale-10, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue Scale, Penn State Worry Questionnaire, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (depression symptoms), Revised Life Orientation Test (optimism), Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale, Interpersonal Reactivity Index Perspective-Taking Scale (empathy), and Measure of Current Status-Part A to first year medicine and psychiatry residents prior to initiation of clinical rotations in June.


The response rate was 91 % (68 of 75 residents). Nineteen respondents (28 %) met criteria for burnout as measured by the MBI. Residents with burnout scored higher on self-report measures assessing perceived stress (Cohen’s d = 0.97; p = 0.004), fatigue (d = 0.79; p = 0.018), worry (d = 0.88; p = 0.0009), and depression symptoms (d = 0.84; p = 0.035) and scored lower on questionnaires assessing mindfulness (d = −0.63; p = 0.029) and coping ability (d = −0.79; p = 0.003).


In a cross-sectional assessment using self-report measures, we found that nearly a third of first year residents prior to starting their internships experience burnout. They exhibit lower levels of mindfulness and coping skills and higher levels of depression symptoms, fatigue, worry, and stress. These preliminary findings should encourage programs to initiate and study curricula that combine mindfulness and self-awareness coping strategies to enhance or protect against burnout as well as cognitive behavioral coaching strategies to offset symptoms of burnout when present.


Residents: professional development Resiliency Resident burnout Resident wellness 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Hasan Bazari and Dr. Felicia Smith for their support of this research within the residency training programs in the departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, respectively, at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


Dr. Denninger receives support for unrelated investigator-initiated studies from Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Denninger receives support from Basis Inc. for materials related to investigator-initiated studies. This does not alter the author’s adherence to Academic Psychiatry policies on sharing data and materials.


This pilot project was supported by an APIRE Janssen Resident Award (award recipient is the corresponding author).

Ethical Approval

Partners Healthcare IRB review


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.University of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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