A Study on the Role of Religion on Doctor Burnout

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Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - It’s no secret that there is a high rate of burnout in the medical professions, especially in the last couple of years of the pandemic.

But a 2021 study indicates that having a spiritual belief or practice, regardless of denomination, may help prevent it.

The study was published in the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, and was conducted among medical students. It found that those with a religious involvement reported better physical and emotional health, along with less anxiety or depression.

And despite a common belief to the contrary, past surveys have indicated a strong belief in God among U.S. physicians.

Answering an anonymous survey eight years ago, more than 65 percent said they believed in God, and more than half reported themselves as religious. Another 24.8 percent said they are spiritual.

The seriousness of the pandemic has sparked a more recent conversation in medical circles, and is leading to a discussion among some doctors on whether spirituality should be taught as a required component of medical training, rather than an elective, to help future doctors understand the role that their beliefs and the patient’s beliefs play in treatment and recovery.



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