OJEpi  Vol.6 No.3 , August 2016
Self-Compassion and Empathy: Impact on Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress in Medical Training
Abstract: Objective: To determine how self-compassion and empathy might influence the degree of burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction among medical students and residents. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of medical students and select residency programs at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Respondents completed the Professional Quality of Life Scale (burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction), Neff’s Self-Compassion Scale, and the empathic concern and personal distress subscales of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Results: The response rate was 28.6%. 23.9% and 27.3% of medical trainees reported high levels of burnout and secondary traumatic stress, respectively. Females reported greater empathy but lower self-compassion than males. Greater concern for others and oneself and lower personal distress predicted greater pleasure derived from professional work. Less concern for others and lower concern for oneself predicted greater burnout. Conclusions: Compassion for oneself and for others within their care appears to ameliorate burnout and can increase professional satisfaction. Initiatives to foster empathy and self-compassion may enhance individual well-being.
Cite this paper: Richardson, D. , Jaber, S. , Chan, S. , Jesse, M. , Kaur, H. and Sangha, R. (2016) Self-Compassion and Empathy: Impact on Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress in Medical Training. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 6, 161-166. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2016.63017.

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