Date of Conferral







Pam Kempt


Physicians in residency training (PIRTs) in the United States are facing extreme burnout. The prevalence of burnout among physicians in residency training may cause adverse consequences such as medical malfeasance, alcoholism, or suicide due to physical and mental exhaustion. The purpose of this study was to analyze the servant leadership style of physician trainers and burnout among PIRTs in academic medical centers in the United States to ultimately increase wellness and thereby mitigate burnout. Servant leadership was the theoretical foundation for this study. This research investigated whether servant leadership characteristics of physician trainers played a statistically significant role in burnout of PIRTs while controlling for demographic variables (age, gender, and years in residency training). A sample of 122 PIRTs in academic medical centers in the United States were recruited through email lists and others with explicit permission from program administrators and senior leaders. Each participant answered a servant leadership survey, Oldenburg burnout inventory, and a learning climate questionnaire. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between the independent variable, servant leadership, and the dependent variable, burnout. The results indicated that there was a statistically significant, negative relationship between the perceived servant leadership of physician trainers and the burnout of PIRTs. Overall, PIRTs had a moderate degree of burnout. Physician trainers generally showed a high degree of servant leadership characteristics. Implications for positive social change include educators and leaders in academic medical centers potentially using servant leadership characteristics to mitigate burnout among PIRTs while contributing to a collaborative learning environment.