Original Article

Changes in Health and Well-Being during Residents’ Training

Authors: Christopher E. Wee MD, Jacob Petrosky MD, Lauren Mientkiewicz DO, Xiaobo Liu PhD, Krishna K. Patel MD, Michael B. Rothberg MD, MPH

Abstract

Objectives: Previous studies have characterized the negative effects of graduate medical education on physicians; however, there is limited longitudinal data on how physicians’ well-being changes during their training. This study aimed to demonstrate and quantify changes to trainees’ wellness and health habits during the course of their first 2 years of graduate medical education.

Methods: A longitudinal survey study of postgraduate year 1 trainees at the Cleveland Clinic was administered at 3 time points: the initial survey during orientation week, a second survey at 1 year, and a final survey at 2 years.

Results: Of the 170 trainees contacted, 59 (35%) completed the initial survey and 34 (58%) completed the first follow-up survey. Between the initial survey and the first follow-up survey, respondents reported that their health was worse than the prior year (P < 0.001). They also reported sleeping on average 1 hour less per night and exercising on average one fewer day per week. The number of individuals who reported not eating breakfast increased by 22%, whereas the number of individuals eating out at lunch more than doubled. Twenty-seven people completed the second follow-up survey. Between the first follow-up survey and the final survey, respondents gained on average 2.12 lb (P = 0.039). Breakfast, lunch, and sleeping habits persisted through the second follow-up survey.

Conclusions: Residents’ health and wellness habits deteriorated during internship and did not improve in the second year of residency. Efforts to promote healthy habits in this population should be a priority.

This content is limited to qualifying members.

Existing members, please login first.

If you have an existing account please login now to access this article or view your purchase options.

Purchase only this article ($15)

Create a free account, then purchase this article to download or access it online for 24 hours.

Purchase an SMJ online subscription ($75)

Create a free account, then purchase a subscription to get complete access to all articles for a full year.

Purchase a membership plan (fees vary)

Premium members can access all articles plus recieve many more benefits. View all membership plans and benefit packages.

References

1. Daskivich TJ, Jardine DA, Tseng J, et al. Promotion of wellness and mental health awareness among physicians in training: perspective of a national, multispecialty panel of residents and fellows. J Grad Med Educ 2015;7:143-147.
2. Legassie J, Zibrowski EM, Goldszmidt MA. Measuring resident well-being: impostorism and burnout syndrome in residency. J Gen Intern Med 2008;23:1090-1094.
3. Eckleberry-Hunt J, Lick D, Boura J, et al. An exploratory study of resident burnout and wellness. Acad Med 2009;84:269-277.
4. Ripp J, Babyatsky M, Fallar R, et al. The incidence and predictors of job burnout in first-year internal medicine residents: a five-institution study. Acad Med 2011;86:1304-1310.
5. West CP, Shanafelt TD, Kolars JC. Quality of life, burnout, educational debt, and medical knowledge among internal medicine residents. JAMA 2011;306:952-960.
6. Rand Health Care. 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36). https://www.rand.org/health-care/surveys_tools/mos/36-item-short-form.html. Accessed August 5, 2019.
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BRFSS questionnaires. https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/questionnaires/index.htm. Accessed November 25, 2019.
8. Rye PL, Reeson ME, Pekrul CM, et al. Comparing health behaviours of internal medicine residents and medical students: an observational study. Clin Invest Med 2012;35:E40-E44.
9. Rosen IM, Gimotty PA, Shea JA, et al. Evolution of sleep quantity, sleep deprivation, mood disturbances, empathy, and burnout among interns. Acad Med 2006;81:82-85.
10. Schernhammer ES, Colditz GA. Suicide rates among physicians: a quantitative and gender assessment. Am J Psychiatry 2004;161:2295-2302.
11. Olson SM, Odo NU, Duran AM, et al. Burnout and physical activity in Minnesota internal medicine resident physicians. J Grad Med Educ 2014;6:669-674.
12. Weight CJ, Sellon JL, Lessard-Anderson CR, et al. Physical activity, quality of life, and burnout among physician trainees: the effect of a team-based, incentivized exercise program. Mayo Clin Proc 2013;88:1435-1442.
13. Arora VM, Georgitis E, Woodruff JN, et al. Improving sleep hygiene of medical interns: can the sleep, alertness, and fatigue education in residency program help? Arch Intern Med 2007;167:1738-1744.
14. Gonzalo JD, Yang JJ, Ngo L, et al. Accuracy of residents’ retrospective perceptions of 16-hour call admitting shift compliance and characteristics. J Grad Med Educ 2013;5:630-633.