The authors S. Leu and R.N. Vuille-dit-Bille contributed equally to the manuscript.
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Burnout in physicians affects personal life, health, commitment to work, and finally patient care. Surgeons in training have been shown to be prone to burnout. The aim of the present study is to characterize the prevalence of burnout among Swiss and Australian surgery residents, as well as to identify individual and system-related predispositions for burnout.
All Swiss and Australian surgery residents were contacted to complete an online questionnaire between April and December 2017. Personal and system-related issues were assessed, and the abbreviated version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Brief Resilience Scale, and a shortened version of the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List were included.
In Switzerland 237 of 700 (34%) and in Australia 175 of 428 (41%) general surgery residents completed the online questionnaire. Australian residents were older, more experienced, and rather had family. While documented training programs are fewer, regulated weekly work hours are more common in Switzerland. Factors mostly associated with risk of burnout were “barely” or no free time activities and increased working hours per week. Factors inversely correlated with burnout were having children, salary satisfaction, and regulated weekly working hours. Factors not associated with burnout were country, age, gender, work experience, relationship, religion, hospital type, and a documented training program.
Reduced free time activities and augmented working hours increase the risk of burnout, whereas having children, salary satisfaction, and regulated weekly working hours decrease the risk of burnout.