Surgeon Distress as Calibrated by Hours Worked and Nights on Call

Published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the following study aims to understand the relationships of working hours and nights on call per week with various parameters of distress among practicing surgeons. More than 7,900 members of the American College of Surgeons responded to an anonymous, cross-sectional survey. The survey included self-assessment of their practice setting, a validated depression screening tool, and standardized assessments of burnout and quality of life. There was a clear gradient between hours and burnout, with the prevalence of burnout ranging from 30% for surgeons working <60 hours/week, 44% for 60 to 80 hours/week, and 50% for those working >80 hours/week. Those who worked >80 hours/week reported a higher rate of medical errors compared with those who worked <60 hours/week.

Organizational Factors, Safety and Patient Outcomes

Was this resource helpful?