Investigating influential factors and mechanisms of surgical resident well-being using social network analysis

for the General Surgery Research Collaborative on Resident Wellbeing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Burnout and depression in General Surgery residents affect patient care and drive attrition. Few impactful interventions exist, in part because little is known about influential drivers and mechanistic relationships. Methods: Residents from 16 general surgery programs completed published well-being scales in January 2021. Social network analysis demonstrated influential relationships between factors, and path analysis revealed drivers of burnout and depression. Results: 300 residents completed the survey (34% response rate). Workplace demand and mindfulness influenced depressive symptoms and emotional exhaustion, mediated by perceived stress. Mindfulness increased personal accomplishment, mediated by psychological well-being (p ​< ​0.05 for all results). All mediated effects were greater than direct effects. Conclusions: This study yielded a quantitative conceptual model of mechanistic relationships affecting well-being in surgical residency, identifying stress and psychological well-being (measuring sense of purpose) as central mediators, and triangulating workplace demand and mindfulness as potentially high-yield interventional targets for reducing burnout and depression in surgical residency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Burnout
  • Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Residency
  • Training
  • Well-being


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