Mental health, wellbeing and burnout among medical students in the United Arab Emirates

Karim Abdel Aziz, Tarek Okasha, Dinesh Bhugra, Andrew Molodynski, Fatima AlKhyeli, Noura AlNeyadi, Mahra AlSheryani, Shouq Alyammahi, Dina Aly El-Gabry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Medical students tend to experience high levels of stress during their studies, that can result in mental health disorders and burnout, further affecting academic performance and later ability to practice. Aims: To investigate previous and current mental health issues, significant sources of stress, burnout, and substance use among medical students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Method: We conducted an online survey to collect data on demographics, sources of stress, mental health problems, burnout, and substance use in 385 medical students from the UAE University. We used the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI), the General Health Questionnaire 12 (GHQ-12), and the CAGE questionnaire. Results: Our results indicated that 5.7% of participants had been diagnosed with a mental health condition prior to joining medical school, and that 21.6% of participants were diagnosed with a mental illness while in medical school. On the OLBI, 77.4% screened positive for burnout (81.3% for disengagement and 95.1% for exhaustion), with 74.5% screening positive for mental health difficulties on the GHQ-12 and <1% screening positive on the CAGE for problem drinking. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between scores on the OLBI and the GHQ-12. Conclusions: Our study indicated that high levels of stress, burnout and mental illness are experienced among medical students in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-993
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Medical students
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • burnout
  • mental health
  • wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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