ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — A Mayo Clinic study finds that “burnout” and financial debt are widespread among doctors-in-training.

The survey involved more than 16,000 internal medicine residents and provides a disturbing diagnosis.

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“Burnout and reports of low levels of quality of life were very common,” said lead researcher Dr. Colin West.

He said more than half of graduate medical students reported symptoms of burnout. Equally troubling was a finding that burnout — and high student debt — caused lower test scores.

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“One theory is that the chronic stress that leads to burnout is inhibiting learning,” West said.

Researchers hope documenting the problem of burnout among doctors-in-training will lead to solutions.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports