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Over 50 Percent of General Surgery Residents want to Quit

Update Date: Aug 02, 2014 09:16 AM EDT

In a new study, researchers set out to examine general surgery residents' job satisfaction levels. The team found that more than 50 percent of these medical professionals reported seriously thinking about leaving their residencies.

For this report, the research team headed by Edward Gifford, M.D., from the Harbor-UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Medical Center in Los Angeles, interviewed 371 general surgery residents from 13 residency programs. The interviews were all conducted anonymously. The researchers asked residents whether or not they wanted to quit their post. They also examined the ten-year attrition rates for all 13 programs.

Overall, 58 percent of the general surgery residents stated that they had seriously considered leaving their program. The three top reasons why the residents wanted to leave training were sleep deprivation during specific rotations at 50 percent, an undesirable future at 47 percent, and long work hours at 41.4 percent. Residents that had the most concerns were older, female, in their postgraduate year and training in a university program. People who did not have an Alpha Omega Alpha status or did not have a faculty member were also more likely to want to quit.

"Thoughts of leaving seem to be associated with work conditions on specific rotations rather than with overall work hours," the authors wrote according to Medical Xpress.

Despite wanting to quit, the researchers found that 65 percent of them did not end up leaving because of the support they received from family members and significant others. 63.5 percent stated that the support they got from other residents prevented them from leaving. 58.9 percent did not leave because they believed that they would be better rested.

The study, "Factors Associated With General Surgery Residents' Desire to Leave Residency Programs," was published in the journal, JAMA Surgery.

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