Feeling the stress: Perceptions of burnout among general surgery program directors

Kimberly D. Anderson, Brian E. Mavis, Richard E. Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose To document the types and levels of stress experienced by general surgery program directors as they fulfill their education and administrative responsibilities. Methods This study consisted of a 3-part survey that incorporated 2 established instruments to help determine the presence of burnout in program directors. A personal projects analysis was used to help identify the tasks most relevant to the role of program director as well as to evaluate their perceptions of these tasks. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was used to measure the degree of burnout among program directors. Demographic data were gathered to develop a picture of the background of the program directors and how they spent their time. Results A total of 71.8% of program directors responded. Of all tasks, teaching received the highest ratings for importance, enjoyment, and control, as well as the lowest ratings for stress. Emotional exhaustion was the most notable aspect of burnout in program directors on the MBI. Program directors scoring high in burnout were younger, had been in their current position fewer years, and had fewer years overall as a program director. Conclusions Burnout is more related to age and experience of program director than to features of the program itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Burnout
  • Faculty development
  • Program director
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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