November 4, 2019

General surgery residents who are mistreated at greater risk of burnout

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Half of general surgery residents experience workplace mistreatment at least a few times a year, which greatly raises their risk of burnout and suicidal thoughts, finds a national survey that was presented October 28 at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2019 in San Francisco.

Survey responses from 7,409 residents in 262 residency training programs showed that residents who experienced on-the-job mistreatment several times a month were 300% more likely to suffer burnout and suicidal thoughts than residents who were not mistreated.


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Reported forms of mistreatment included discrimination, harassment, and verbal abuse/bullying, particularly for women.

Though the prevalence of surgical residents’ mistreatment is concerning, some residency programs had very low or no rates of mistreatment, suggesting that improvements in training are feasible, the authors say.

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