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Article

Burnout in International Medical Students: Characterization of Professionalism and Loneliness as Predictive Factors of Burnout

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Department of Urgent Psychiatry, University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapče, 10090 Zagreb, Croatia
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School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Department of Statistics and Operational Research, University of Granada, 52003 Melilla, Spain
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Department of Diagnostic Imaging (Radiology) and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital San Pedro, 26006 Logroño, Spain
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Platform of Bioethics and Medical Education, Centre for Biomedical Research of La Rioja, 26006 Logroño, Spain
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National Centre of Documentation on Bioethics, Rioja Health Foundation, 26006 Logroño, Spain
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031385
Received: 10 December 2021 / Revised: 14 January 2022 / Accepted: 24 January 2022 / Published: 26 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress, Health, and Burnout: Psychobiological Factors)
Background: Burnout is a common mental problem in medical students. For those who are following medical studies abroad there is a higher risk of suffering this syndrome, due to the combination of academic stress and the stress derived from their new living situation. This study was performed with the purpose of testing the following hypothesis: in medical students enrolled in medical programs abroad, abilities associated with professionalism and family support play a protective role in the prevention of suffering burnout. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zagreb, where a fully English medical program is offered. The general version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-GS) was used as a dependent variable, while Jefferson Scales of empathy, teamwork, and physician lifelong learning and the Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults were used as predictive variables. In addition, information related to sex, country of birth, native language, age, academic achievement, and living situation were collected in a socio-demographic form. Linear regression models were applied to identify predictors of burnout. Results: In a sample composed of 188 medical students (38 Croatians and 144 foreigners from 28 countries), 18% of the global score in the MBI-GS was explained by lifelong learning and family loneliness. A separate analysis for each domain of the MBI-GS allowed the creation of three models: the first model explained 19% of the variance of the “exhaustion” domain by “country of birth”, “living with parents”, “academic year”, and “cynicism”; a second model explained 24% of the variance of the “cynicism” domain by “academic year”, “empathy”, “lifelong learning”, and “exhaustion”; and finally, a third model explained 24% of the variance of the “professional efficacy” domain by “lifelong learning”, “family loneliness”, and “cynicism”. All obtained models presented an effect size between medium and large, as well as matching the required conditions for statistical inference. Conclusions: These findings confirm the important role that family plays as a source of support for medical students. Empathy and lifelong learning, two specific elements of medical professionalism, appear as protective factors in the prevention of burnout in international students. View Full-Text
Keywords: international medical students; burnout; empathy; lifelong learning; loneliness; family international medical students; burnout; empathy; lifelong learning; loneliness; family
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gradiski, I.P.; Borovecki, A.; Ćurković, M.; San-Martín, M.; Delgado Bolton, R.C.; Vivanco, L. Burnout in International Medical Students: Characterization of Professionalism and Loneliness as Predictive Factors of Burnout. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 1385. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031385

AMA Style

Gradiski IP, Borovecki A, Ćurković M, San-Martín M, Delgado Bolton RC, Vivanco L. Burnout in International Medical Students: Characterization of Professionalism and Loneliness as Predictive Factors of Burnout. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1385. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031385

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gradiski, Ivan P., Ana Borovecki, Marko Ćurković, Montserrat San-Martín, Roberto C. Delgado Bolton, and Luis Vivanco. 2022. "Burnout in International Medical Students: Characterization of Professionalism and Loneliness as Predictive Factors of Burnout" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 3: 1385. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031385

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