The Impact of a Structured Wellness Curriculum on Burnout Among Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

Our primary aim was to evaluate the effects of a formalized wellness curriculum on the rate of burnout among University of New Mexico (UNM) obstetrics and gynecology (OBGyn) residents. Our secondary aim was to evaluate the effect of a wellness curriculum on rates of depression, alcohol abuse and suicide risk.

BACKGROUND:

Burnout is a pathological syndrome characterized by depersonalization, emotional exhaustion and a low sense of personal achievement. Burnout is a concern for resident physicians due to their heavy workload and low sense of autonomy.

METHODS:

A structured wellness curriculum was instituted at the start of the 2016 academic year. A 45-item survey, consisting of the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), personal health questionnaire-9 (PHQ9), suicide behaviors questionnaire-revised (SBQr), and the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT), was to be administered at the start, midpoint, and end of the academic year.

RESULTS:

The study included 23 UNM OBGyn residents. Midpoint and end of curriculum surveys were collected as planned and demonstrated no difference in rate of burnout. Upon completion of the 2016 academic year 18 (78.2%) residents reported moderate to severe emotional exhaustion; 13 (59.1%) moderate to severe depersonalization; and 5 (21.7%) low personal achievement. SBQ-R identified 4 (18.2%) residents at high risk for suicide and AUDIT-C identified 15 (68.2%) at high risk for alcohol abuse.

DISCUSSION:

High rates of burnout, depression, alcohol abuse, and suicide risk did not change between the midpoint and end of a structured wellness curriculum.

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