Some residents appear to pay a high price to become a doctor—and that’s in addition to the cost of education. Suboptimal quality of life and symptoms of burnout are associated with educational debt among residents, according to a study published recently in JAMA.

A survey of more than 16,000 internal medicine residents found:

14.8% rated their quality of life “as bad as it can be” or “somewhat bad”

51.5% reported overall burnout

45.8% indicated they were emotionally exhausted

28.9% reported depersonalization

The scores increased with amount of debt the residents carried. Moreover, the combination of low quality of life, emotional stress, and educational debt was also associated with lower Internal Medicine In-Training Examination Scores, or IM-ITEs. Residents juggling more than $200,000 in loans scored 5 points lower than physicians who were debt-free.

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…

  • Do you feel that money and personal debt can affect a physician professionally?
  • What strategies or systems can be put in place by hospital administrators to relieve this stress?