Trends in surgeon wellness (take a sad song and make it better): A comparison of surgical residents, fellows, and attendings

Theresa Jackson, Jake Morgan, Diane Jackson, Taylor Cook, Kevin McLean, Vaidehi Agrawal, Kevin Taubman, Gajal Kumar, Michael S. Truitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We aim to investigate the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), physician burnout (PBO), and work–life balance (WLB) among surgical residents, fellows, and attendings to illustrate the trends in surgeon wellness. A cross-sectional national survey of surgical residents, fellows, and attendings was conducted screening for PTSD, PBO, and WLB. The prevalence of screening positive for PTSD was more than two times that of the general population at all levels of experience, and more than half have an unhealthy WLB. The prevalence of PTSD, PBO, and unhealthy WLB declined with increasing level of experience (P < 0.001). One deviation in this trend was a lower prevalence of PBO among surgical fellows compared with residents and attendings (P < 0.001). Surgeon wellness improved with increasing level of experience. The incorporation of wellness programs into surgical residencies is essential to the professional development of young surgeons to cultivate healthy lasting habits for a well-balanced career and life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-586
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume85
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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