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The well-being of Swiss general internal medicine residents


Abstract

BACKGROUND

Physician well-being has an impact on productivity and quality of care. Residency training is a particularly stressful period.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the well-being of general internal medicine (GIM) residents and its association with personal and work-related factors.

METHODS

We conducted an anonymous electronic survey among GIM residents from 13 Swiss teaching hospitals. We explored the association between a reduced well-being (≥5 points based on the Physician Well-Being Index [PWBI]) and personal and work-related factors using multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression.

RESULTS

The response rate was 54% (472/880). Overall, 19% of residents had a reduced well-being, 60% felt burned out (emotional exhaustion), 47% were worried that their work was hardening them emotionally (depersonalisation), and 21% had career choice regret. Age (odds ratio [OR] 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–1.34), working hours per week (OR 1.04 per hour, 95% CI 1.01–1.07) and <2.5 rewarding work hours per day (OR 3.73, 95% CI 2.01–6.92) were associated with reduced well-being. Administrative workload and satisfaction with the electronic medical record were not. We found significant correlations between PWBI score and job satisfaction (rs = -0.54, p<0.001), medical errors (rs = 0.18, p<0.001), suicidal ideation (rs = 0.12, p = 0.009) and the intention to leave clinical practice (rs = 0.38, p <0.001)

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 20% of Swiss GIM residents appear to have a reduced well-being and many show signs of distress or have career choice regret. Having few hours of rewarding work and a high number of working hours were the most important modifiable predictors of reduced well-being. Healthcare organisations have an ethical responsibility to implement interventions to improve physician well-being.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Physician well-being has an impact on productivity and quality of care. Residency training is a particularly stressful period.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the well-being of general internal medicine (GIM) residents and its association with personal and work-related factors.

METHODS

We conducted an anonymous electronic survey among GIM residents from 13 Swiss teaching hospitals. We explored the association between a reduced well-being (≥5 points based on the Physician Well-Being Index [PWBI]) and personal and work-related factors using multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression.

RESULTS

The response rate was 54% (472/880). Overall, 19% of residents had a reduced well-being, 60% felt burned out (emotional exhaustion), 47% were worried that their work was hardening them emotionally (depersonalisation), and 21% had career choice regret. Age (odds ratio [OR] 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–1.34), working hours per week (OR 1.04 per hour, 95% CI 1.01–1.07) and <2.5 rewarding work hours per day (OR 3.73, 95% CI 2.01–6.92) were associated with reduced well-being. Administrative workload and satisfaction with the electronic medical record were not. We found significant correlations between PWBI score and job satisfaction (rs = -0.54, p<0.001), medical errors (rs = 0.18, p<0.001), suicidal ideation (rs = 0.12, p = 0.009) and the intention to leave clinical practice (rs = 0.38, p <0.001)

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 20% of Swiss GIM residents appear to have a reduced well-being and many show signs of distress or have career choice regret. Having few hours of rewarding work and a high number of working hours were the most important modifiable predictors of reduced well-being. Healthcare organisations have an ethical responsibility to implement interventions to improve physician well-being.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic and Policlinic for Internal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Medicine
Language:English
Date:18 June 2020
Deposited On:29 Jan 2021 09:33
Last Modified:04 Feb 2021 14:31
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2020.20255
PubMed ID:32557425

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