Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Joshua Thornhill

First Reader

Dr. Anita Hood

Second Reader

Dr. Anita Hood


Well-being of medical doctors is essential for physicians, the healthcare environment, and treatment of patients. Unfortunately, burnout in this demanding profession has become a prevalent issue. This psychological phenomenon presents as three components: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Burnout can diminish professionalism and health care quality, promote medical error, and contribute negatively to physician’s personal lives. Past studies implicate that burnout in physicians is most likely rooted before they even start practicing medicine. Specifically, feelings of burnout start appearing while they are in medical school.

This project explores this proposition via statistical analyzation of the relatively new Year Two Questionnaire (Y2Q). Administered nationally by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), this questionnaire surveys second year medical students (M2) about their levels of stress, fatigue, exhaustion, disengagement, and factors that may be contributing to these issues. This study focuses on students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Columbia who completed the Y2Q between 2014 - 2018.

Trends demonstrated that the overall quality of life of medical students is slowly decreasing at University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Columbia along with expected increase in feelings of disengagement for medical students of all medical schools. However, the analyses demonstrate consistent middle range scores for financial concern, perceived stress, and exhaustion, as there is not enough evidence to claim that there will be a change in these components of the Y2Q. Additionally, the level of support from family and friends is consistently high and expected to increase over time for all medical schools.

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© 2020, Marco C Garcia