According to a Yale University study, U.S. medical students that identify as having marginalised identities (female, non-white, lesbian, gay or bisexual, or any combination of these) reported higher mistreatment, discrimination, and exhaustion.


Mistreatment during medical training has been often associated with burnout. Given that students belonging to historically marginalised groups are more likely to experience mistreatment and discrimination, a Yale University research group examined exhaustion and disengagement among medical students in marginalised groups.


The data included responses between 2016 and 2017 from 30,651 graduating medical students at 140 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Students self-reported on their sociodemographics, general medical education, and levels of mistreatment, discrimination, and burnout. Levels of mistreatment and discrimination were determined by questionnaire items asking about related experiences. The 16-item Oldenburg Burnout Inventory for Medical Students assessed burnout levels.


Non-white and 2SLGBTQ+ students had higher average disengagement scores than their white and heterosexual counterparts. However, disengagement scores among females were lower regardless of identity. Having more marginalised identities correlated with having higher exhaustion scores. Mistreatment and discrimination likewise correlated with exhaustion scores but did not fully explain the association between marginalised identity groups and burnout.


The study authors concluded that there's a need for 'leaders in academic medicine to improve the existing mechanisms for dealing with reports of negative behaviours and create a climate of respect.’

Source: The BMJ


Teshome BG et al. (2022) Marginalized identities, mistreatment, discrimination, and burnout among US medical students: cross sectional survey and retrospective cohort study. BMJ, 376, e065984.

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burnout, medical schools, discrimination U.S. Medical Students with Marginalised Identities Report Mistreatment, Discrimination, and Burnout