The Emotional Wellness of Radiology Trainees

Prevalence and Predictors of Burnout

      Rationale and Objectives

      Burnout is a complex phenomenon characterized by emotional exhaustion, social detachment, and feelings of low personal achievement. In this study, we aim to establish the prevalence of burnout among radiology trainees and to explore the factors influencing its development.

      Materials and Methods

      Survey data were collected from 266 trainee members of the Association of University Radiologists to assess financial status, attitudes toward money and compensation, and burnout symptomology. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze these data.


      Most radiology residents reported high levels of personal achievement but routine symptoms of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Although increasing levels of household debt were correlated with symptoms of depersonalization and lower reported quality of life, we found that the subjective financial experience was a more reliable indicator of emotional well-being. Specifically, higher subjective self-assessments of financial strain were the best predictors of symptoms of depersonalization (P < .0001), emotional exhaustion (P < .0001), and lower self-reported quality of life (P < .0001). Additionally, residents with recent moonlighting activity reported higher levels of personal achievement (P < .05), lower levels of emotional exhaustion (P < .05), and greater quality of life (P < .05) when compared to non-moonlighters.


      The unique nature of radiology training could mean that traditional assumptions regarding the development of trainee burnout do not necessarily apply. Finances may be an underappreciated influence on resident burnout, and subjective feelings of financial scarcity could outweigh the impact of objective indebtedness. Further study is needed to ensure that the emotional well-being of radiology trainees is optimally supported.

      Key Words

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