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Neurosurgery. 2018 Sep 1;83(3):582-590. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyx494.

The Prevalence of Burnout Among US Neurosurgery Residents.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, Gates Vascular Institute at Kaleida Health, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
3
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
4
Department of Neurosurgery, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo at Kaleida Health; Buffalo, New York.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Its prevalence among US physicians exceeds 50% and is higher among residents/fellows. This is important to the practice of neurosurgery, as burnout is associated with adverse physical health, increased risk of substance abuse, and increased medical errors. To date, no study has specifically addressed the prevalence of burnout among neurosurgery residents.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine and compare the prevalence of burnout among US neurosurgery residents with published rates for residents/fellows and practicing physicians from other specialties.

METHODS:

We surveyed 106 US neurosurgery residency training programs to perform a descriptive analysis of the prevalence of burnout among residents. Data on burnout among control groups were used to perform a cross-sectional analysis. Nonparametric tests assessed differences in burnout scores among neurosurgery residents, and the 2-tailed Fisher's exact test assessed burnout between neurosurgery residents and control populations.

RESULTS:

Of approximately 1200 US neurosurgery residents, 255 (21.3%) responded. The prevalence of burnout was 36.5% (95% confidence interval: 30.6%-42.7%). There was no significant difference in median burnout scores between gender (P = .836), age (P = .183), or postgraduate year (P = .963) among neurosurgery residents. Neurosurgery residents had a significantly lower prevalence of burnout (36.5%) than other residents/fellows (60.0%; P < .001), early career physicians (51.3%; P < .001), and practicing physicians (53.5%; P < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Neurosurgery residents have a significantly lower prevalence of burnout than other residents/fellows and practicing physicians. The underlying causes for these findings were not assessed and are likely multifactorial. Future studies should address possible causes of these findings.

PMID:
29088408
DOI:
10.1093/neuros/nyx494

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