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Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents' Perspectives on Wellness

Findings From a National Survey

Morgan, Helen Kang, MD; Winkel, Abigail Ford, MD, MHPE; Nguyen, Anh T., MD; Carson, Sandra, MD; Ogburn, Tony, MD; Woodland, Mark B., MS, MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003103
Contents: Medical Education: Original Research
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OBJECTIVE: To examine U.S. obstetrics and gynecology residents' perceptions of wellness, burnout, and perceived effectiveness of wellness programming.

METHODS: In January 2017, a six-item survey was administered at the time of the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology in-training examination. Respondents voluntarily completed the survey electronically before starting the examination, and responses were anonymous and only linked to postgraduate year.

RESULTS: Of the 5,376 eligible U.S. examinees, 4,999 (93%) completed the survey, provided residency year status, and were included in the analysis. There was a high prevalence of self-identified wellness problems (burnout 51.2%, depression 32.0%, binge drinking 12.6%, eating disorder 4.7%, drug use 1.1%, and suicide attempt 0.4%). First-year residents were most likely to state that wellness was a priority in their program. The number of residents reporting any problem with wellness increases significantly between the first year (49.8%) and second year (63.7%, P<.001), after which it remains elevated throughout training. Residents who responded that wellness was not a priority in their program were more likely to report wellness issues and burnout (P<.001). When asked what single intervention all residency programs should provide, 41.2% (2,059) felt that dedicated time for wellness maintenance was the most important intervention.

CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the high prevalence of wellness problems in obstetrics and gynecology residents, and how essential it will be to engage learners in the development of effective, evidence-based interventions.

This national survey of obstetrics and gynecology residents highlights the prevalence of wellness issues and the importance of engaging trainees in the development of interventions.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center, Santa Clara, California; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC; Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Brownsville, Texas; and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reading Hospital/Tower Health, West Reading, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding author: Helen Kang Morgan, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical School, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, L4000 Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109; email:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Presented at the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Annual Meeting, November 2–6, 2018, Austin, Texas.

The authors thank Ms. Gale Mamatova and the CREOG and ACOG staff for their assistance with the survey implementation and data organization, and Ms. Sarah Block for her assistance with manuscript preparation.

Each author has confirmed compliance with the journal's requirements for authorship.

Peer reviews and author correspondence are available at

© 2019 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.