6 insights on burnout among US neurosurgery residents

Written by Shayna Korol | February 09, 2018 | Print  |

Both burnout rates and career satisfaction are high among neurosurgery residents, a national survey in the Journal of Neurosurgery found.

Here are six things to know:

 

1. The 86-item questionnaire was disseminated to residents in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons database between June and November 2015. Survey questions evaluated personal and workplace stressors, mentorship, career satisfaction and burnout. The researchers assessed burnout using the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

 

2. The response rate with completed surveys was 21 percent, or 346 of 1,643 residents. Here is the demographic breakdown of surveyed residents:

 

• 78 percent male, 22 percent female
• 92 percent between 26 and 35 years old
• 70 percent in a stable relationship
• 73 percent without children

 

3. Respondents were equally distributed across all residency years. The majority of residents – 81 percent – were satisfied with their career choice, but 41 percent had given serious thought to quitting at some point.

 

4. The overall burnout rate was 67 percent.

 

5. Notable factors associated with burnout included inadequate operating room exposure, hostile faculty and social stressors outside of work. Meaningful mentorship was protective against burnout.

 

6. The authors stress the importance of finding solutions for burnout given its negative impact on healthcare economics and patient care.

 

At the L.A.-based Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, new residents in the neurosurgery department will choose their mentors and the school will assign a backup mentor for additional support. A new mentorship model may help mitigate the risk of burnout.

 

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