A study of resident duty hours and burnout in a sample of Saudi residents

Tahir Kamal Hameed, Emad Masuadi, Nejoud Ali Al Asmary, Faisal Ghayb Al-Anzi, Mohammed Saleh Al Dubayee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Work hour restrictions in residency programs have been implemented over the last several decades in Europe, USA, and Canada. To best of our knowledge, there is no study of resident duty hours in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition, few studies have looked at the prevalence of burnout amongst Saudi residents. The present study explored resident duty hours and burnout amongst residents in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A paper-based questionnaire was designed to survey resident duty hours in Saudi Arabia and was administered along with the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The questionnaires were administered to residents in medical and surgical residency programs at King Abdulaziz Medical City-Riyadh and two hospitals in Buraidah, Qassim Province. Results: A total of 181 residents from the three hospitals participated in the survey. In terms of average number of work hours per week, 50% of all residents reported working 60-79 h while 30% reported working 80 or more hours per week. The prevalence of burnout was 81%. There was no association between higher number of working hours and the prevalence of burnout. Conclusion: This was the first study describing resident duty hours and exploring the relationship between duty hours and burnout in Saudi Arabia. Our main findings were that the majority of residents work 60 or more hours per week, and there was a very high degree of burnout amongst residents. A larger multi-centre study of resident duty hours and its effect on patient safety and resident well-being is needed to develop work hour regulations in Saudi Arabia. In addition, there is an urgent need to develop programs that address resident burnout.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Burnout
  • Post-graduate
  • Residency
  • Resident duty hours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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