Thursday, March 15, 2012
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Medical school students around the country will learn their fate this Friday, March 16, on what is known as Match Day. This is a much-anticipated day that reveals not only where they will work after medical school, but what medical specialty they will pursue. Match Day is filled with excitement and celebration — there are hugs, cheers, high fives and tears, but there is another aspect of becoming a resident that medical schools, hospitals and veteran physicians are increasingly paying attention to: The road to becoming a resident is not easy and can lead to burnout ranging from emotional and physical exhaustion to depersonalizing patients.
There has been a growing recognition of burnout among medical students and such distress can have a big impact on their quality of life, professional development and patient care. Mayo Clinic experts have developed an index that screens medical students to identify burnout, symptoms of depression, sleepiness and fatigue. Studies using the index have provided evidence of reliability and validity using the tool to identify severe distress in medical students.
Mayo Clinic experts, Lotte Dyrbye, M.D., associate director, Department of Medicine Program on Physician Well-Being, and Tait Shanafelt, M.D., director, Department of Medicine Program on Physician Well-being at Mayo Clinic, are available to talk about the index and ways for students to identify burnout and ways to promote personal well-being and professional satisfaction to foster a high quality of care for patients and a high quality of life for themselves throughout their medical careers. Dr. Dyrbye and Dr. Shanafelt have conducted several studies on physician burnout, most recently examining the causes and consequences of prolonged stress among oncologists.
Match Day reveals the results of a two-way selection process: matching the top preferences for residency programs among medical students with the needs of residents among residency programs throughout the United States. The Match Day event also marks each participant's progression from student to practicing physician.
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