Professional Burnout in United States Plastic Surgery Residents: Is It a Legitimate Concern?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Physician burnout is intimately associated with institutional losses, substance abuse, depression, suicidal ideation, medical errors, and lower patient satisfaction scores. OBJECTIVES: By directly sampling all US plastic and reconstructive surgery residents, this study examined burnout, medical errors, and program-related factors. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of data collected from current US plastic and reconstructive surgery residents at Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited programs during the 2018 to 2019 academic year. Previously validated survey instruments included the Stanford Professional Fulfillment and Maslach Burnout Indices. Additional data included demographics, relationship status, program-specific factors, and admission of medical errors. RESULTS: A total of 146 subjects responded. Residents from each postgraduate year (PGY) in the first 6 years were well represented. Overall burnout rate was 57.5%, and on average, all residents experienced work exhaustion and interpersonal disengagement. No relation was found between burnout and age, gender, race, relationship status, or PGY. Burnout was significantly associated with respondents who feel they matched into the wrong program, would not recommend their program to students, do not feel involved in program decisions, reported increasing hours worked in the week prior, feel that they take too much call, reported making a major medical error that could have harmed a patient, or reported making a lab error. CONCLUSIONS: This study directly examined burnout, self-reported medical errors, and program suitability in US plastic and reconstructive residents based on validated scales and suggests that burnout and some medical errors may be related to program-specific, modifiable factors, not limited to, but including, involvement in program-related decisions and call structure.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Coombs, DM; Lanni, MA; Fosnot, J; Patel, A; Korentager, R; Lin, IC; Djohan, R

Published Date

  • June 15, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 802 - 810

PubMed ID

  • 31621825

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-330X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/asj/sjz281


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England