BACKGROUND: Medical school faculty members have been reported to be highly likely to suffer burnout. Research is being conducted on professional self-concepts as a factor that relieves burnout in many professions. However, there is a paucity of data on the relationship between professional self-concept and burnout among medical school faculty. Professional self-concept means a perception of oneself as a member of the profession. It influences an individual's thoughts, actions, and emotions. The more positive the professional self-concept, the higher is the self-esteem in the profession, which can contribute to reducing burnout. This study aimed to investigate the professional self-concept and incidence of burnout among medical school clinical faculty members, and to ascertain the factors that affect professional self-concept with respect to burnout.
METHODS: A total of 68 clinical faculty members at the Ajou University School of Medicine completed a modified form of the professional self-concept scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. We undertook the following statistical analyses: a descriptive analysis to understand the distribution of participants, correlation analysis to indicate associations between variables and a multiple regression analysis to examine the influence of gender, position, and specialty on professional self-concept and burnout, and the effect of each subscale of professional self-concept on burnout.
RESULTS: As professional self-concept increases, burnout decreases. There was no significant difference between professional self-concept and burnout with respect to gender or field of medical specialty, while a significant difference was observed across faculty position levels. Additionally, the professional self-concept subscale, which included satisfaction and communication skill, was found to significantly affect burnout.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that professional self-concept affects burnout. Through these results, we can infer that professional self-concept functioned to protect medical school faculty from burnout. This may be a strategy that fortifies the professional identity of medical school faculty, and it is suggested that educational programs that are directed toward this goal be established.
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