Perceived Value of a Program to Promote Surgical Resident Well-being

Arghavan Salles, Cara A. Liebert, Micaela Esquivel, Ralph S. Greco, Rebecca Henry, Claudia Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Objective The demands of surgical residency are intense and threaten not only trainees’ physical wellness, but also risk depression, burnout, and suicide. Our residency program implemented a multifaceted Balance in Life program that is designed to improve residents’ well-being. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the program utilization and perceived value by residents. Design, Setting, Participants Residents (n = 56, 76% response rate) were invited to participate in a voluntary survey from December 2013 to February 2014 regarding utilization, barriers to use, and perceived value of 6 program components (refrigerator, After Hours Guide, psychological counseling sessions, Resident Mentorship Program, Class Representative System, and social events). They were also asked questions about psychological well-being, burnout, grit, and sleep and exercise habits before and after implementation of the program. Results The most valued components of the program were the refrigerator (mean = 4.61) and the psychological counseling sessions (mean = 3.58), followed by social events (mean = 3.48), the Resident Mentorship Program (mean = 2.79), the Class Representative System (mean = 2.62), and the After Hours Guide (mean = 2.10). When residents were asked how they would allocate $100 among the different programs, the majority was allocated to the refrigerator ($54.31), social events ($26.43), and counseling sessions ($24.06). There was no change in psychological well-being or burnout after the program. Residents had higher levels of grit (β = 0.26, p < 0.01) and exercised (β = 1.02, p < 0.001) and slept (β = 1.17, p < 0.0001) more after the program was implemented. Conclusions This study demonstrated that a multifaceted program to improve the well-being of trainees is feasible, highly valued, and positively perceived by the residents. Further research is needed to quantify the effectiveness and longitudinal impact such a program has on resident depression, burnout, and other psychological factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Systems-Based Practice
  • burnout
  • resident well-being
  • resource utilization
  • surgical residency

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    Salles, A., Liebert, C. A., Esquivel, M., Greco, R. S., Henry, R., & Mueller, C. (2017). Perceived Value of a Program to Promote Surgical Resident Well-being. Journal of Surgical Education, 74(6), 921-927.