The Role of Personal Accomplishment in General Surgery Resident Well-being

Rhami Khorfan, Yue Yung Hu, Gaurava Agarwal, Joshua Eng, Taylor Riall, Jennifer Choi, Chandrakanth Are, Tait Shanafelt, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Elaine O. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective:To investigate the association of personal accomplishment (PA) with the other subscales, assess its association with well-being outcomes, and evaluate drivers of PA by resident levelBackground:Most studies investigating physician burnout focus on the emotional exhaustion (EE) and depersonalization (DP) subscales, neglecting PA. Therefore, the role of PA is not well understood.Methods:General surgery residents were surveyed following the 2019 American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination regarding their learning environment. Pearson correlations of PA with EE and DP were assessed. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed the association of PA with attrition, job satisfaction, and suicidality and identified factors associated with PA by PGY.Results:Residents from 301 programs were surveyed (85.6% response rate, N = 6956). Overall, 89.4% reported high PA, which varied by PGY-level (PGY1: 91.0%, PGY2/3: 87.7%, PGY4/5: 90.2%; P = 0.02). PA was not significantly correlated with EE (r = -0.01) or DP (r = -0.08). After adjusting for EE and DP, PA was associated with attrition (OR 0.60, 95%CI 0.46-0.78) and job satisfaction (OR 3.04, 95%CI 2.45-3.76) but not suicidality (OR 0.72, 95%CI 0.48-1.09). Although the only factor significantly associated with PA for interns was resident cooperation, time in operating room and clinical autonomy were significantly associated with PA for PGY2/3. For PGY4/5s, PA was associated with time for patient care, resident cooperation, and mentorship.Conclusion:PA is a distinct metric of resident well-being, associated with job satisfaction and attrition. Drivers of PA differ by PGY level and may be targets for intervention to promote resident wellness and engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • burnout
  • personal accomplishment
  • surgery resident
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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