Influence of medical trainee sleep pattern (chronotype) on burn-out and satisfaction with work schedules: a multicentre observational study

Ashraf A. Gohar, Melissa Knauert, Mohamad A. Kalot, Akram Khan, Darby Sider, Muhammad Ali Javed, David Wooldridge, Leigh Eck, Fred Buckhold, Brendon Colaco, Abid Bhat, Dubier Matos Castillo, Ross Newman, Reem A. Mustafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Medical trainees' work schedule is designed to cover duties without consideration of differences in circadian rhythms during a 24-hour period (chronotype). OBJECTIVE: To explore chronotype variation among medical trainees and understand its association with burn-out and schedule satisfaction. METHODS: In a multicentre observational study, we conducted two surveys between 1 October 2018 and 1 April 2019. Trainees from nine centres across the USA participated. We measured burn-out using Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and trainee chronotype using the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). RESULTS: 324 (32%) out of 1012 responded to our survey. Participants were 51% female and had a mean age of 30.8 years. Most participants had an intermediate MEQ type (65%). A large proportion of participants had burn-out on at least one of three tested MBI scales (62%); 5% of participants had burn-out on all three MBI scales. More participants with evening MEQ type had burn-out (66%) compared with morning MEQ type (55%), however, the results were not statically significant (p=0.294). Overall satisfaction with work shifts was 6.5 (95% CI 6.3 to 6.7), with higher satisfaction with day shift 7.7 (95% CI 7.5 to 7.9) and lowest satisfaction with overnight 24-hour call 3.5 (95% CI 3.2 to 3.9). Satisfaction was lower in trainees with burn-out 6.0 (95% CI 5.7 to 6.4), (p<0.001). In the follow-up survey, burn-out was present in at least one scale in 64% compared with 60% of respondents in the initial survey. CONCLUSION: Burn-out is prevalent among medical trainees. Improving alignment between trainee preferences may improve performance, reduce human errors and burn-out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-941
Number of pages6
JournalPostgraduate Medical Journal
Issue number1166
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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