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 journalArticlepeer-review

30 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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