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Elaine M Tran, Ingrid U Scott, Melissa A. Clark, Paul B. Greenberg; Resident Wellness in United States Ophthalmic Graduate Medical Education: The Resident Perspective. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):6168.
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Wellness programs are important strategies to combat resident burnout and depression. However, the resident perspective on wellness in graduate medical education (GME) has not been solicited on a national level. We surveyed United States (US) ophthalmology residents on their views of wellness initiatives in ophthalmic GME and identified potential strategies for promoting resident wellness.
All US ophthalmology residents listed on ophthalmology residency program websites were emailed an anonymous online survey consisting of 12 multiple-choice questions with free response options; they also received a mailed letter with a survey link and a $1 incentive. We analyzed the survey responses using descriptive statistics, categorized the free response answers, and conducted nonresponse bias analyses based on postgraduate year status.
The program websites listed 1050 ophthalmology residents; the survey response rate was 23% (243/1050). Most respondents (68%; 122/179) reported that their programs faced an issue involving resident depression, burnout, or suicide within the past year; 27% (62/243) reported being involved in a case when resident fatigue/burnout/depression adversely affected a medical outcome or judgement. Less than half (46%; 112/243) reported that their residency programs placed moderate or major emphasis on promoting a culture of resident wellness and only 27% (63/238) reported that their department had a formal resident wellness program. The most commonly cited barrier to resident wellness (25%; 60/238) was a lack of time to attend wellness programs. The respondents reported that the US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education could better promote resident wellness by providing training resources for burnout and depression screening (46%; 107/233) and mandating the inclusion of a resident wellness program in ophthalmology training programs (45%; 105/233). Findings using the non-response adjusted weights did not differ substantially from the unweighted results.
The survey results suggest that there is a significant burden of burnout/depression among US ophthalmology residents. Moreover, there is an opportunity to place greater emphasis on the culture of wellness in ophthalmology residency programs and provide training resources for burnout and depression screening.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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