June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Assessing and Promoting the Wellness of United States Ophthalmology Residents: A Survey of Program Directors
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elaine M Tran
    Program in Liberal Medical Education, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    Division of Ophthalmology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • Ingrid U Scott
    Departments of Ophthalmology and Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Melissa A Clark
    Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
  • Paul B Greenberg
    Division of Ophthalmology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    Section of Ophthalmology, Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Elaine Tran, None; Ingrid Scott, None; Melissa Clark, None; Paul Greenberg, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Brown University Undergraduate Research and Teaching Award and a Research at Brown Grant
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 5058. doi:
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      Elaine M Tran, Ingrid U Scott, Melissa A Clark, Paul B Greenberg; Assessing and Promoting the Wellness of United States Ophthalmology Residents: A Survey of Program Directors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5058.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : There is limited published information on the current status of resident wellness programs in United States (US) ophthalmic graduate education (GME) programs. This study reported on the status of residency-based wellness initiatives in ophthalmic GME and identified potential strategies for promoting ophthalmology resident wellness by surveying US ophthalmology program directors (PDs).

Methods : All 111 US ophthalmology PDs were first emailed an anonymous online survey consisting of multiple-choice questions that permitted free response answers. Next, a letter was mailed to the PDs with the survey link along with a $1 incentive. After two weeks, non-responders received two weekly reminder emails and phone calls. The multiple choice responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the free response answers were coded into thematic categories.

Results : The response rate was 50% (56/111). Twenty-six percent (14/53) of respondents reported that their programs faced an issue involving resident depression, burnout, or suicide within the past year; 45% (25/56) reported that their ophthalmology department had a formal resident wellness program. The respondents without wellness programs reported a shortage of time (63%; 19/30) and training and resources (63%; 19/30) as the most significant barriers to instituting resident wellness programs. Respondents reported that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education could better promote resident wellness by providing training resources for burnout and depression screening (66%; 35/53), resilience skills building (72%; 38/53) and wellness program development (68%; 36/53).

Conclusions : There is a substantial burden of burnout and depression among residents in US ophthalmic GME programs. This study highlights several methods that ophthalmic GME stakeholders in partnership with national organizations can use to address this burden: promote the training of medical educators to recognize the signs of burnout and depression and provide resources to develop and expand formal resident wellness programs.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.

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