Burnout among medical students – AMSB Bulgaria

Name of the activity: Burnout among medical students 

Country/NMO: AMSB Bulgaria

Program: Mental Health

Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator

Type of the activity: First-time Activity

Category: Education

Focus area: Mental Health among Medical Students

Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 4 (Quality Education)

General description:

One of the frequent questions that arises for each of us as is: How to control stress and don’t let it control us? The field of medicine is filled with stressful moments, which unmanaged, can carry severe consequences, such as Burnout. With our project, we aim to present what are the different ways to cope with the mental load that surrounds the medical students, how to distinguish initial symptoms of Burnout and what actions to take to prevent mental illnesses. 

Problem statement:

The field of medicine is filled with stressful moments, which unmanaged, can carry severe consequences. Burnout is rampant among medical professionals. This condition may lead to high emotional exhaustion, high cynicism and low professional efficacy. A study, conducted by Yahya, M.S. et al. from 2021, estimated that the mean prevalence of Burnout in medical students was 38.2%, which was considerably higher than rates reported in general populations. 

Target groups:

  • Medical students


  • Medical students
  • Healthcare Students


Objective №1 – Participants will gain the knowledge to recognize different mental states that medical professionals may go through and be able to differentiate between them. 

Objective №2 – Participants will be able to solve clinical cases of depression and show the difference between the presence of the syndrome and its absence

Objective №3 – Assessment of mental status using Self-Assessment test for Level of Burnout before and after the campaign. This will be necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign on the mental health of the participants, as well as to assess the prevalence of Burnout among students. 

Objective №4 – The obtained data will be used in future campaigns, as well as in publications in the media, to address the stigma surrounding medical professionals and the difficulties they go through on a daily basis.


Indicator №1 – During the post evaluation survey, 90% of the participants knew what burnout, depression and anxiety are, how to distinguish them and what actions to take to prevent mental illnesses.

Indicator №2 – When solving case studies, 90% of the participants were able to easily distinguish the initial symptoms of burnout and suggested methods to reduce professional burnout.

Indicator №3 – Maslach Self-Assessment test for Level of Burnout was used and showed that 63% of the participants suffered from some level of Burnout.

Indicator №4 – After dissemination of the result to other medical student associations, led to the planning of events to be held in the coming year, aimed entirely at recognizing the initial symptoms of emerging mental disorders. Infographics aimed at promoting self-help groups among the students will also be distributed through social media.


Initially on November 14th, the project began by conducting a survey among students to determine their level of Burnout. After the initial assessment an information campaign was conducted. A panel of psychiatrists and psychologists was formed to separately examine the psycho-emotional challenges faced by medical students. A lecture was held on November 24th in a hybrid version. During the lecture, the various emotional difficulties faced by doctors were touched upon, what coping mechanisms can be applied, how to distinguish the initial features of improper handling of Burnout. Specific examples and clinical cases were given and a role play was conducted. Participants were provided with numerous resources after the event to use for further enrichment. After the end of the project, an evaluation survey was conducted, which aimed to find out what coping mechanisms participants would use and what the initial signs of an emerging mental illness were.

Plans for evaluation:

After the baseline assessment on the state of Burnout among the students was carried out, a second survey will be done after 3 months to compare the level of burnout before and after the end of the campaign. The Maslach Burnout Self-Assessment test will be used which is a structured interview aimed at assessing the level of Burnout. In order to identify weak points as well as future opportunities for campaign development, TOWS Matrix will be used. This way of evaluating the conducted event will help us avoid the mistakes that have occurred and thus we will improve the conduct of similar campaigns in the future.

External collaborations:

This campaign was organized entirely with the help of student task force at Plovdiv Medical  University and the local associations at AMSB-Bulgaria. 

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