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///2018 Abstract Details
2018 Abstract Details2019-08-02T15:57:01-05:00

Workload on the labor floor: Does it increase resident burnout?

Abstract Number: F3A-1
Abstract Type: Original Research

Victoria L Danhakl MD1 ; Andrea Miltiades MD2; Caleb Ing MD, MS3; Ruth Landau MD4; George Gallos MD5


The syndrome of burnout is present in up to 30% of physicians, with the highest risk for those working in high risk acute care settings, such as obstetric anesthesia (ObA) (1,2). Given recent predictions of shortages of fellowship-trained obstetric anesthesiologists in the near future, promoting wellbeing in ObA is imperative to prevent attrition and compromise of the subspecialty’s future (3). Despite an increasing interest in physician wellbeing in anesthesiology, monitoring is not routinely studied or performed, and no wellbeing studies have been reported in the field of ObA. We screened known precipitators of burnout to see which most contributes to resident stress and hypothesized that perceived excessive workload will be the single most important contributing factor on the ObA rotation.


A wellbeing survey was sent to all residents (N=78) in 03/2016. The Maslach and Leiter’s Areas of Worklife Survey (AWS) (4) served as a basis for assessing the 6 areas known to precipitate burnout (workload, community, values, fairness, reward, and control). A Friedman test was used to test the null hypothesis of no difference in Likert responses between the 6 areas of worklife stress. Post hoc analysis for pairwise comparisons was performed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test (Bonferroni corrected a= 0.003).


The response rate was 47.4% (37/78). Workload was considered to be manageable by 85.3% of respondents and was the least contributory to burnout. Through the Friedman test, responses differed among the 6 different areas of worklife (chi2 = 25.00, p<0.0001). In post hoc analysis, workload manageability was rated higher than both community and fairness (z=3.117, p<0.0018; z=3.70, p<0.0002, respectively)(Figure).


Using Maslach and Leiter’s AWS as a modified tool, we evaluated sources of burnout that may impact residents’ wellbeing in the ObA environment. Contrary to our hypothesis, the majority of participants rated workload to be manageable; however, lack of fairness and community were identified as major sources of burnout, which emphasizes the importance of professionalism. Identifying major modifiable sources of burnout, particularly when these are unexpected, should facilitate successful and efficient interventions to improve resident wellbeing and promote ObA as a gratifying subspecialty.

1. Mayo ClinProc 2016;91:1667-8

2. Crit Care Med 2017;45:1900-6

3. The Jerusalem Post. 18 Nov 2017

4. Banishing burnout 2005

SOAP 2018