Newly Published
Education  |   May 2019
Repeated Cross-sectional Surveys of Burnout, Distress, and Depression among Anesthesiology Residents and First-year Graduates
Author Notes
  • From the American Board of Anesthesiology, Raleigh, North Carolina (H.S., D.O.W., A.M., Y.Z., D.J.C., M.T.K.), the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (D.O.W., M.T.K.), the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California (A.M.), and the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (D.J.C.).
  • Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are available in both the HTML and PDF versions of this article. Links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the Journal’s Web site (www.anesthesiology.org).
    Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are available in both the HTML and PDF versions of this article. Links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the Journal’s Web site (www.anesthesiology.org).×
  • Submitted for publication August 8, 2018. Accepted for publication April 4, 2019.
    Submitted for publication August 8, 2018. Accepted for publication April 4, 2019.×
  • Correspondence: Address correspondence to Dr. Sun: American Board of Anesthesiology, 4208 Six Forks Road, Suite 1500, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609. Huaping.Sun@theABA.org. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org or on the masthead page at the beginning of this issue. Anesthesiology’s articles are made freely accessible to all readers, for personal use only, 6 months from the cover date of the issue.
Article Information
Education / Education / CPD
Education   |   May 2019
Repeated Cross-sectional Surveys of Burnout, Distress, and Depression among Anesthesiology Residents and First-year Graduates
Anesthesiology Newly Published on May 22, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002777
Anesthesiology Newly Published on May 22, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002777
Editor’s Perspective
Abstract
Editor’s Perspective:

What We Already Know about This Topic:

  • Burnout has been identified in approximately 50% of residents and practicing physicians

What This Article Tells Us That Is New:

  • Based on survey data from 2013 to 2016, the prevalence of burnout, distress, and depression in anesthesiology residents and first-year graduates was 51%, 32%, and 12%, respectively

  • More hours worked and student debt were associated with a higher risk of distress and depression, but not burnout

  • Perceived institutional and social support and work–life balance were associated with a lower risk of burnout, distress, and depression

Background: This repeated cross-sectional survey study was conducted to determine the prevalence of, and factors associated with, burnout, distress, and depression among anesthesiology residents and first-year graduates. We hypothesized that heavy workload and student debt burden were associated with a higher risk of physician burnout, distress, and depression, and that perception of having adequate workplace resources, work–life balance, and social support were associated with a lower risk.

Methods: Physicians beginning U.S. anesthesiology residency between 2013 and 2016 were invited to take online surveys annually from their clinical anesthesia year 1 to 1 yr after residency graduation. The Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Physician Well-Being Index, and the Harvard Department of Psychiatry/National Depression Screening Day Scale were used to measure burnout, distress, and depression, respectively. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine whether self-reported demographics, personal, and professional factors were associated with the risk of burnout, distress, and depression.

Results: The response rate was 36% (5,295 of 14,529). The prevalence of burnout, distress, and depression was 51% (2,531 of 4,966), 32% (1,575 of 4,941), and 12% (565 of 4,840), respectively. Factors associated with a lower risk of all three outcomes included respondents’ perceived workplace resource availability, (odds ratio = 0.51 [95% CI, 0.45 to 0.57] for burnout; 0.51 [95% CI, 0.45 to 0.56] for distress; 0.52 [95% CI, 0.45 to 0.60] for depression) and perceived ability to maintain work–life balance (0.61 [95% CI, 0.56 to 0.67] for burnout; 0.50 [95% CI, 0.46 to 0.55] for distress; 0.58 [95% CI, 0.51 to 0.65] for depression). A greater number of hours worked per week and a higher amount of student debt were associated with a higher risk of distress and depression, but not burnout.

Conclusions: Burnout, distress, and depression are notable among anesthesiology residents. Perceived institutional support, work–life balance, strength of social support, workload, and student debt impact physician well-being.