Prevalence of Academic Burnout among Medical Students Worldwide: A Systematic Review


1 MD, Fellowship of Psychosomatic Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Fellowship of Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, & Social Security Organization, Isfahan, Iran.

5 Pediatric Neurologist, Department of Pediatric, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

6 Shoushtari Mother and Child Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Background: Medical training is stressful and may negatively affect students. This study aimed to summarize and compare studies on academic burnout among medical students worldwide.
Materials and Methods In this systematic review, a systemic search of online databases (Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library, CIVILICA, and Google Scholar search engine) was conducted for relevant studies with no time limit up to December 2021. Two reviewers evaluated the quality of eligible studies and carried out the selection procedure. The quality of the information was evaluated using the STROBE positioning guidelines.
Results: Finally, 34 studies from 18 countries across all continents (a total of 9,199 medical students) were included in the study. The students’ academic burnout across worldwide studies ranged from 8.9% (Saudi Arabia) to 91.1% (Iran). Based on the results, the highest prevalence of each dimension of the syndrome was estimated at 93.1% for emotional exhaustion, 97.2% for cynicism, and 20.7% for academic efficacy. Female medical students, relatively older students (> 30 years), those in the third year of study, and students pursuing primary care are at an increased risk for burnout.
Conclusion: Today, burnout is prevalent during medical training. The prevalence of academic burnout among students varied from 8.9% to 91.1% in different countries. Psychological and managerial interventions can help students with burnout. It is necessary to pay more attention to female, relatively older, and the third year medical students.