May 11, 2023

Survey: Financial well-being of surgical residents

Editor's Note

Poor personal financial health has been linked to well-being, including burnout, substance abuse, and worsening personal relationships.

This secondary analysis of a survey led by the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut examines the financial well-being of surgical residents in New England.

A total of 250 surgical residents responded to the survey for a response rate of 44%. Their responses were compared to those of an age-matched and regionally matched control cohort.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Residents more frequently reported spending less than their income each year than controls (54% vs 34%), but 17% said they spent more than their income each year.
  • 65% of residents said it was “not at all difficult” to pay monthly bills vs 17% of controls, but 32% of residents said it was “somewhat” or “very” difficult to pay monthly bills.
  • Residents more frequently reported they “certainly” or “probably could “come up with” $2,000 in a month compared with controls (85% vs 62%), but 16% of residents said they could not.
  • 21% of residents reported having a personal life insurance policy, 25% have disability insurance, 6% have a will, and 27% have more than $300,000 worth of student loans.

Though surgical residents have better financial well-being than a matched control cohort in their New England region, there is still a large proportion who have financial difficulties, the authors say. Understanding the state of financial health of surgical residents is key to improving their overall well-being.


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