graduate medical education; internship and residency; resident wellness; psychological burnout; professional burnout; physical activity; stress; job satisfaction; survey research


Educational Administration and Supervision | Psychology



There is a need for better understanding of trajectory of burnout in clinical training and what factors are associated with resident well-being and burnout overtime. This study examined medical resident burnout and physical activity throughout different times of the academic year, across several different medical specialties and postgraduate years (PGY), over two years.


A resident wellness survey was administered throughout five different waves from summer 2018 to winter 2020. A total of 493 survey responses from seven subspecialties completed the survey. We used 474 responses for quantitative statistical analysis and 138 for qualitative thematic analysis.


The average response rate was 47%, and ranged between 40% (Wave 3) and 56% (Wave 1). Three analyses were conducted: the first demonstrated significantly higher Satisfaction in Wave 1 as opposed to Wave 2. The second analysis showed significant correlations between Overall, Satisfaction, and Stress scores and exercise-based questions for female, male, and primary care cohorts of residents. The third analysis showed that in 2018, interns and non-interns differed on Stress but did not differ on Satisfaction or Overall scores.


Similar levels of satisfaction, stress, and overall well-being were reported at different times in the academic year and from year to year. Exercise was not consistently related to resident well-being outcomes. These findings suggest a need for targeted interventions based on post-graduate year, time in the academic year and well-being drivers.