National Survey of Burnout among US General Surgery Residents

Leisha C. Elmore, Donna B. Jeffe, Linda Jin, Michael M. Awad, Isaiah R. Turnbull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Burnout is a complex syndrome of emotional distress that can disproportionately affect individuals who work in health care professions. Study Design For a national survey of burnout in US general surgery residents, we asked all ACGME-accredited general surgery program directors to email their general surgery residents an invitation to complete an anonymous, online survey. Burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory; total scores for Emotional Exhaustion (EE), Depersonalization (DP), and Personal Accomplishment (PA) subscales were calculated. Burnout was defined as having a score in the highest tertile for EE or DP or lowest tertile for PA. Chi-square tests and one-way ANOVA were used to test associations between burnout tertiles for each subscale and various resident and training-program characteristics as appropriate. Results From April to December 2014, six hundred and sixty-five residents actively engaged in clinical training had data for analysis; 69% met the criterion for burnout on at least one subscale. Higher burnout on each subscale was reported by residents planning private practice careers compared with academic careers. A greater proportion of women than men reported burnout on EE and PA. Higher burnout on EE and DP was associated with greater work hours per week. Having a structured mentoring program was associated with lower burnout on each subscale. Conclusions The high rates of burnout among general surgery residents are concerning, given the potential impact of burnout on the quality of patient care. Efforts to identify at-risk populations and to design targeted interventions to mitigate burnout in surgical trainees are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-451
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume223
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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