This qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological research study explored the shared lived experience of occupational burnout and wellness in female Resident Physicians. The phenomenon was explored to identify if the Residents believed their Attending Physicians’ leadership styles ameliorated or exacerbated their feelings of occupational burnout. The theoretical frameworks of Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory (Gardner, 1977) and Positive Psychology (Seligman, 2019) were used to examine the Residents’ ability to navigate their workplaces. Virtual, semi-structured interviews were conducted to gain a perspective of the female physicians’ residency experience and to learn how each felt their Attendings’ leadership styles impacted them. The hermeneutic phenomenological approach identified common themes from the interviews and highlighted the following: (a) their training experience as female Residents, (b) their experience of occupational burnout, (c) their perceptions of leadership styles that alleviated or exacerbated occupational burnout; and (d) the coping strategies and social support they employed when navigating occupational situations that promoted occupational well-being or exacerbated occupational burnout. This research study offered a perspective on how occupational burnout impacts female Residents and how medical leaders, such as Attending Physicians, might help to assuage or prevent this phenomenon from befalling them so early in their medical careers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Burn out (Psychology); Leadership; Women physicians

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ebony Cain