Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Dr. Leslie Fernandez

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert DiTomasso

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Roberts


Burnout is a depleted state characterized by three components: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment (Wong et al., 2020). A widespread problem among physicians, burnout may increase the likelihood of committing occupational errors (Buran & Altın, 2021). The medical profession encompasses many demanding responsibilities related to direct patient care (Amanullah & Ramesh, 2020). Burnout associated with the recent pandemic may have led to medical malpractice lawsuits and even jeopardized patient safety (Sung et al., 2020). Along with burnout, physicians are at a greater risk of developing psychiatric disorders and committing suicide than the general population (Ofei-Dodoo et al., 2021; Stewart et al., 2019). Dysfunctional thoughts can predispose a person to develop self-defeating emotions and mental illness (Hu et al., 2019). The literature indicates that errors in thinking among physicians and medical students can largely contribute to both distress and mental illness (Slavin et al., 2021). These negative thought patterns often result in physicians neglecting their health and endorsing a lack of compassion toward their patients and colleagues (Hu et al., 2019). With a more thorough understanding of the possible risks for burnout associated with distorted thinking, an improved treatment to address burnout in physicians may be possible. The results of the study may generate implications for targeting specific types of distorted thinking that may predispose a physician to the effects of burnout. This study will investigate whether overall distorted thinking and particular kinds of distortions (magnification, labeling, and perfectionism) predict each of the specific components of burnout in primary care physicians.

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