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Although we share with Eckleberry-Hunt et al. (2018) some of their criticisms regarding the problematic conceptualization of burnout, we are perplexed by the authors’ silence regarding burnout–depression overlap, which is arguably the most troubling problem attached to the burnout construct. The extensive research suggests that burnout reflects a combination of depressive responses. The emotional exhaustion component of burnout involves fatigue and depressed mood, two diagnostic criteria for depressive disorders. Maslach et al. (2001) wrote that there is “a predominance of dysphoric symptoms” in burnout. Depersonalization symptoms are commonly found in depressed individuals. Diminished personal accomplishment reflects well-known depressive manifestations of negative self-evaluation and feelings of failure.


This work was originally published in Academic Medicine.



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