(HealthDay)—A majority of categorical general surgery residents seriously consider leaving residency, according to a study published online July 30 in JAMA Surgery.
Edward Gifford, M.D., from the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues anonymously surveyed 371 categorical general surgery residents from 13 residency programs and compared results based on whether or not respondents seriously considered leaving surgical residency. Ten-year attrition rates for each program were also evaluated.
The researchers found that 58.0 percent of respondents seriously considered leaving training. Sleep deprivation on a specific rotation (50.0 percent), an undesirable future lifestyle (47.0 percent), and excessive work hours on a specific rotation (41.4 percent) were the most frequent reasons for wanting to leave. Residents didn't leave because of support from family or significant others (65.0 percent), support from other residents (63.5 percent), and perception of being better rested (58.9 percent). Serious thoughts of leaving were tied to older age, female sex, postgraduate year, training in a university program, the absence of a faculty mentor, and lack of Alpha Omega Alpha status, although only female sex was significant upon multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 1.2; P = 0.003). High-attrition program residents were more likely to seriously consider leaving residency (odds ratio, 1.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 3.0; P = 0.03).
"Thoughts of leaving seem to be associated with work conditions on specific rotations rather than with overall work hours," the authors write.
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