Extinguishing burnout: National analysis of predictors and effects of burnout in abdominal transplant surgery fellows

Al Faraaz Kassam, Alexander R. Cortez, Leah K. Winer, Kendra D. Conzen, Ashraf El-Hinnawi, Christopher M. Jones, Lea Matsuoka, Anthony C. Watkins, Kelly M. Collins, Chandra Bhati, Markus Selzner, Christopher J. Sonnenday, Michael J. Englesbe, Tayyab S. Diwan, André A.S. Dick, Ralph C. Quillin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Burnout among surgeons has been attributed to increased workload and decreased autonomy. Although prior studies have examined burnout among transplant surgeons, no studies have evaluated burnout in abdominal transplant surgery fellows. The objective of our study was to identify predictors of burnout and understand its impact on personal and patient care during fellowship. A survey was sent to all abdominal transplant surgery fellows in an American Society of Transplant Surgeons–accredited fellowship. The response rate was 59.2% (n = 77) and 22.7% (n = 17) of fellows met criteria for burnout. Fellows with lower grit scores were more likely to exhibit burnout compared with fellows with higher scores (3.6 vs 4.0, P =.026). Those with burnout were more likely to work >100 hours per week (58.8% vs 27.6%, P =.023), have severe work-related stress (58.8% vs 22.4%, P =.010), consider quitting fellowship (94.1% vs 20.7%, P <.001), or make a medical error (35.3% vs 5.2%, P =.003). This national analysis of abdominal transplant fellows found that burnout rates are relatively low, but few fellows engage in self-care. Personal and program-related factors attribute to burnout and it has unacceptable effects on patient care. Transplant societies and fellowship programs should develop interventions to give fellows tools to prevent and combat burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-313
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical research / practice
  • education
  • education
  • ethics
  • ethics and public policy
  • mental health
  • organ procurement
  • organ transplantation in general
  • physician education
  • social sciences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this