Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the authors’ final published version in MedEdPORTAL: The Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources, Volume 17, July 2021, Article number 11164.

The published version is available at Copyright © Donaghy et al.


Introduction: Burnout, substance abuse, and mood disorders are prevalent among neurology residents. Increased recognition of concerning behaviors might encourage more access to mental health resources and reduce burnout.

Methods: We created an educational resource reviewing burnout, substance abuse, and mood disorders for neurology residents. This resource included an online module (control) and a role-play scenario offered only to one cohort (intervention). Online surveys assessed knowledge as well as confidence in the ability to recognize concerning behaviors. A practical assessment using a previously published "Stressed Resident" video was also conducted among resident cohorts.

Results: Of neurology residents, 18 participated in the activity, with nine in the control group and nine in the intervention group. In the postvideo survey, the residents who participated in a role-play activity outperformed a control cohort of their peers when identifying signs of burnout, mood disorders, and substance abuse portrayed in the video (84% vs. 72%; t test, p = .01). Residents indicated increased confidence in the ability to recognize symptoms of maladaptive stress as well as identify resources for themselves and peers. Participants demonstrated no difference in knowledge-based questions scores on pre- and postactivity assessments.

Discussion: Our educational resource improved resident ability to recognize signs of maladaptive stress and to identify residents that are a risk to patient safety. The activity is easy to implement and can be easily adapted outside neurology. Limited sample sizes may limit the ability to demonstrate this tool's impact on knowledge of burnout, substance abuse, and mood disorders.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID




Included in

Neurology Commons