This study aims to investigate burnout and study engagement among medical students at Sun Yat-sen University, China.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate medical students of Sun Yat-sen University, China. A total of 453 undergraduate students completed a self-administered, structured questionnaire between January and February, 2016. Burnout and study engagement were measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS) and the UTRECHT Work Engagement Scale-Students (UWES-S), respectively. Subjects who scored high in emotional exhaustion subscale, high in cynicism subscale, and low in professional efficacy subscale simultaneously were graded as having high risk of burnout. Independent sample t tests and chi-square tests were used to compare the differences in burnout and work engagement between genders, majors, and grade levels.
The means (standard deviations) of the MBI-SS subscales were 3.42 (1.45) for emotional exhaustion, 2.34 (1.64) for cynicism, and 3.04 (1.30) for professional efficacy. The means (standard deviations) of the UWES-S subscales were 3.13 (1.49) for vigor, 3.44 (1.47) for dedication and 3.00 (1.51) for absorption. Approximately 1 in 11 students experienced a high risk of burnout. There were no statistically significant gender differences in burnout and study engagement. There were also no statistically significant differences in burnout and study engagement subscales according to student major. Students in higher grades displayed increased burnout risk, higher mean burnout subscale score of cynicism, lower mean burnout subscale score of professional efficacy, and decreased mean study engagement subscale scores of dedication and absorption. There were strong correlations within study engagement subscales.
Chinese medical students in this university experience a high level of burnout. Students at higher-grade level experience more burnout and decreased study engagement compared with students in lower level.