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Quality of Life During Orthopaedic Training and Academic PracticePart 1: Orthopaedic Surgery Residents and Faculty
M. Catherine Sargent, MD1; Wayne Sotile, PhD2; Mary O. Sotile, MA2; Harry Rubash, MD3; Robert L. Barrack, MD4
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, 601 North Caroline Street, Room 5255, Baltimore, MD 21287
2 Sotile Psychological Associates, 1396 Old Mill Circle, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, WHT 601, Yawkey Building, Suite 3700, Boston, MA 02114
4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, One Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza, 11300 West Pavilion, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail address: barrackr@wustl.edu
View Disclosures and Other Information
Disclosure: In support of their research for or preparation of this work, one or more of the authors received, in any one year, outside funding or grants in excess of $10,000 from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors, or a member of their immediate families, are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2009 Oct 01;91(10):2395-2405. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.H.00665
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Abstract

Background: A pilot study of two academic training programs revealed concerning levels of resident burnout and psychological dysfunction. The purpose of the present study was to determine the quality of life of orthopaedic residents and faculty on a national scale and to identify risk factors for decompensation.

Methods: Three hundred and eighty-four orthopaedic residents and 264 full-time orthopaedic faculty members completed a voluntary, anonymous survey consisting of three validated instruments (the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the General Health Questionnaire-12, and the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale) and question sets assessing demographic information, relationship issues, stress reactions/management, and work/life balance.

Results: High levels of burnout were seen in 56% of the residents and 28% of the faculty members. Burnout risk was greatest among second-postgraduate-year residents and residents in training programs with six or more residents per postgraduate year. Sixteen percent of residents and 19% of faculty members reported symptoms of psychological distress. Sleep deprivation was common among the residents and correlated positively with every distress measure. Faculty reported greater levels of stress but greater satisfaction with work and work/life balance. A number of factors, such as making time for hobbies and limiting alcohol use, correlated with decreased dysfunction for both residents and faculty.

Conclusions: Despite reporting high levels of job satisfaction, orthopaedic residents and faculty are at risk for burnout and distress. Identification of protective factors and risk factors may provide guidance to improve the quality of life of academic orthopaedic surgeons in training and beyond.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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