Racial/Ethnic Differences in Burnout: a Systematic Review

Jourdyn A. Lawrence, Brigette A. Davis, Thea Corbette, Emorcia V. Hill, David R. Williams, Joan Y. Reede

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Awareness of burnout and its implications within the medical field has been growing. However, an understanding of the prevalence and consequences of burnout among underrepresented minority (URM), specifically underrepresented minority in medicine (UiM) populations, is not readily available. Objective: To examine literature investigating burnout among UiM compared to non-UiM, with particular attention to which measures of burnout are currently being used for which racial/ethnic groups. Methods: The authors identified peer-reviewed articles, published in English through systematic examination using PubMed, PsycINFO, Countway Discovery Medicine, and Web of Science databases. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were summarized and study quality was assessed. Results: Sixteen studies assessing racial/ethnic differences in burnout were eligible for inclusion. Nearly all studies were cross-sectional (n = 15) in design and conducted among populations in North America (n = 15). Most studies examined burnout among medical students or physicians and used the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Differences in burnout among UiM and non-UiM are inconclusive, although several studies have nuanced findings. Conclusion: Increased focus on burnout measurement, conceptualization, and mitigation among UiM populations may be useful in improving recruitment, retention, and thriving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-269
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute.


  • Burnout
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Measurement
  • Underrepresented minority


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