In the past year, the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) Wellness Committee conducted a survey to determine the state of wellness programs among emergency medicine residencies nationwide. We collected data from program directors to determine the prevalence of wellness initiatives, estimate burnout among residents, and determine factors that contribute to burnout.
Out of the 171 program directors we surveyed, we received 140 responses (a response rate of 81.9 percent).
Among those who responded:
- 81.4 percent had a wellness program
- 71.9 percent of program directors estimated fewer than 25 percent of their residents suffer from burnout
- 16.5 percent estimated burnout rates to be 25 to 50 percent
- 11.5 percent estimated burnout rates greater than 50 percent
When asked to identify which aspects contribute most to resident burnout:
- 33.6 percent cited sleep deprivation and day-night switches
- 16.4 percent cited difficult patient interactions
- 13.6 percent cited work hours
Regarding specific wellness interventions:
- 51.4 percent report strong psychological support
- 45.3 percent have mechanisms to reduce the effects of day-night switches
- 34.8 percent report frequent debriefs
- 23 percent report reflection activities
- 10.9 percent report designated on-shift break time
Despite these efforts, 70.3 percent of program directors believe their wellness initiatives need moderate to significant improvement.
Dr. Vanyo is chair and Dr. Sorge is vice-chair of the EMRA Wellness Committee.