The Job Demands-Resources Model as a Framework to Identify Factors Associated With Burnout in Surgical Residents

Academic Article


  • Background: Surgical residents are a population at high risk for burnout. We hypothesized that surgical residents' burnout would be inversely related to emotional intelligence (EI) and job resources and directly related to experiences of disruptive behavior. Materials and methods: All general surgery residents at a single institution were invited to complete a survey in 2018 that included the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Trait EI Questionnaire Short Form, focused questions assessing disruptive behaviors, job resources, and demographic characteristics. Burnout was defined as scoring high in depersonalization (≥10 points) or emotional exhaustion (≥27 points). Student's t-tests and Wilcoxon tests were used to compare continuous variables; chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare categorical variables. Results: The survey response rate was 87%. The median respondent age was 30, 51.7% were female, and 48.3% were single. Thirty-five met criteria for burnout (58%). Residents with burnout had lower scores for job resources than residents without burnout (19 versus 26, P < 0.01). Job resources subdomain scores for meaningful feedback and professional development had an inverse association with burnout (P < 0.01 for both). Having experienced any disruptive behavior was associated with burnout (68% versus 32%, P = 0.01). Mean EI scores were also lower for those with burnout (5.18 versus 5.64, P < 0.01). Among EI subcategories, burnout was associated with lower well-being and emotionality (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively). Conclusions: Burnout is prevalent among surgery residents, including those at our institution. Experiencing disruptive behaviors and lower perceptions of job resources were associated with higher burnout scores, along with lower scores in EI, and may inform future efforts toward interventions.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gleason F; Malone E; Wood L; Baker SJ; Hollis RH; Richman JS; Chu DI; Lindeman B
  • Start Page

  • 121
  • End Page

  • 127
  • Volume

  • 247