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Prevalence of Burnout in Intern Doctors on a Compulsory Rotational Internship in the Aftermath of the 2nd and 3rd Wave of COVID-19, Conducted in a Tertiary Hospital in Kolkata, India for the Academic Year 2021–2022

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 June 2022

Sagarika Choudhury*
Affiliation:
R.G.Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, India
*
*Presenting author.
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Abstract

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Aims

Intern doctors are the backbone of the hospital infrastructure. While they are the first to provide patient care on an Emergency and Elective basis, they also happen to be the junior most. The interns of the year 2021–2022, apart from working in various departments of the hospital, were also the frontline workers in the 2nd and the 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the current global public health crisis, interns are more exposed to physical and mental exhaustion, owing to being overworked, along with carrying the burden of loss of patients, colleagues, and potentially infecting themselves and their loved ones to COVID-19. Burnout, a psychological syndrome that occurs due to work-related stress, includes emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalisation (DP), and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment (PA). Intern doctors run a high risk of facing burnout—the prevalence of which is yet unknown. Hence, the survey was conducted.

Methods

An online survey was carried out using MASLACH BURNOUT INVENTORY (MBI) among interns with their voluntary participation. 22 symptom items pertaining to occupational burnout were assessed, with three-component scales: emotional exhaustion (9 items), depersonalisation (5 items), and personal achievement (8 items), with a 7-level frequency scale for all MBI scales and 0–6 scoring.

Responses were received from 180 interns (n = 180). Questions regarding current department postings and contraction of COVID-19 were included in the survey.

Results

Burnout was prevalent in most interns who tested positive for COVID-19 = 60% (108), followed by those whose family members tested positive for COVID-19 = 23.8% (43).

Burnout was seen more in female interns = 30% (54) than in males = 10.56% (19).

Burnout was seen more in interns working in the Emergency and Trauma = 41.67% (75), and the least in Ophthalmology = 1.67% (3).

Conclusion

Burnout is significantly prevalent in intern doctors at the end of the academic year, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Burnout can lead to increased medical errors, reduced patient satisfaction, which affects the quality of patient care. Understanding risk factors, improving workplace environment, limiting duty hours, workshops promoting healthy behaviours have been suggested to reduce burnouts and to prioritise both mental and physical health of interns so as to ultimately improve patient care.

Type
Case Study
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
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Prevalence of Burnout in Intern Doctors on a Compulsory Rotational Internship in the Aftermath of the 2nd and 3rd Wave of COVID-19, Conducted in a Tertiary Hospital in Kolkata, India for the Academic Year 2021–2022
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Prevalence of Burnout in Intern Doctors on a Compulsory Rotational Internship in the Aftermath of the 2nd and 3rd Wave of COVID-19, Conducted in a Tertiary Hospital in Kolkata, India for the Academic Year 2021–2022
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Prevalence of Burnout in Intern Doctors on a Compulsory Rotational Internship in the Aftermath of the 2nd and 3rd Wave of COVID-19, Conducted in a Tertiary Hospital in Kolkata, India for the Academic Year 2021–2022
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