PTSD and surgical residents: Everybody hurts… sometimes

Theresa Jackson, Amanda Provencio, Karalyn Bentley-Kumar, Chris Pearcy, Taylor Cook, Kevin McLean, Jake Morgan, Yoseful Haque, Vaidehi Agrawal, Brittany Bankhead-Kendall, Kevin Taubman, Michael S. Truitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background We aim to evaluate the prevalence of PTSD, its association with physician burnout, and risk factors for PTSD among surgical residents. Methods A cross-sectional national survey of surgical residents was conducted screening for PTSD. Causative traumatic stressors were queried, and thirty-one potential risk factors for PTSD were evaluated. Results A positive PTSD screen (PTSD+) was found in 22% of 582 surgical residents, and an additional 35% were “at risk” for PTSD. Traumatic experiences occurred most commonly as a PGY1, and the most common stressor was bullying. An increase in average hours of work per week (p < 0.001), a high-risk screen for PBO (p < 0.001), and feeling unhealthy (p = 0.001) were associated with an increasing prevalence of screening PTSD+. Conclusions The prevalence of screening PTSD+ among surgical residents (22%) was more than three times the general population. Increased work-hours, a high-risk PBO screen, and reduced resident wellness were associated with screening PTSD+.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1118-1124
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Physician burnout
  • Physician wellness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • PTSD
  • Residency
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'PTSD and surgical residents: Everybody hurts… sometimes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this