The prevalence and effect of burnout on graduate healthcare students


  • Garrett Bullock Duke University
  • Lynnea Kraft Duke University
  • Katherine Amsden Duke University
  • Whitney Gore Duke University
  • Jeffrey Wimsatt Duke University
  • Robert Prengle Duke University
  • Leila Ledbetter Duke University
  • Kyle Covington Duke University
  • Adam Goode Duke University



Burnout, stress, healthcare, graduate students, literature review


Burnout is a growing epidemic among professional healthcare students. Unaddressed burnout has been shown to have psychological and performance related detriments. The purpose of this scoping literature review was to investigate the prevalence of burnout and its effects on the psychological, professional, empathetic ability, and academic acuity of graduate healthcare students. Inclusion criteria included English language papers published within the last 10 years and subjects in graduate healthcare professional programs. This search encompassed 8,214 articles. After title and abstract screening, 127 articles remained and were sorted into five domains of interest: etiology, professionalism, mental health, empathy, and academic performance. After duplicates were removed, 27 articles remained for the scoping review. Graduate level healthcare students had higher levels of burnout than age matched peers and the general population. The high prevalence of burnout within graduate healthcare students can have an effect on their mental health, empathy, and professional conduct. Understanding the occurrence and effects of burnout within graduate healthcare programs allows faculty and administration to plan curriculum, and provide information to students to understand, recognize, and create opportunities to decrease burnout in order to create long lasting quality clinicians.


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How to Cite

Bullock G, Kraft L, Amsden K, Gore W, Wimsatt J, Prengle R, Ledbetter L, Covington K, Goode A. The prevalence and effect of burnout on graduate healthcare students. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2017 Jul. 4 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];8(3):e90-108. Available from:



Reviews, Theoretical Papers, and Meta-Analyses