November 1, 2019

National Survey Focuses on Workplace Mistreatment Among Residents

Results from a new national survey reveal that half of US general surgery residents, especially women, experience workplace mistreatment at least a few times per year, which greatly raises their risk of burnout and suicidal thoughts. The results were published on the New England Journal of Medicine website* ahead of print.

According to the survey, which was administered in January 2018 to 7,409 residents in 262 residency programs in the US, surgical residents who reported any on-the-job mistreatment happening to them regularly were 300 percent more likely to suffer burnout and suicidal thoughts than residents without personal exposure to mistreatment. The forms of mistreatment reported by survey respondents included discrimination, harassment, and verbal abuse/bullying, particularly for women.

“These findings add to the growing body of knowledge about the challenges for resident well-being, and have applicability across all of graduate medical education, as well as the profession,” said Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, president and CEO, ACGME, and a study coauthor.

Findings from this survey will contribute to data for the SECOND Trial, or Surgical Education Culture Optimization through targeted interventions based on National Data, which will examine ways that participating surgery residency programs can improve their residents’ well-being and learning environment.

Read the full press release from the American College of Surgeons.

Read more about the ACGME’s commitment to physician well-being and view a compilation of tools and resources to support well-being for residents, fellows, and faculty members.

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Susan White

Susan White

Vice President, Communications