COVID-19; pandemics; professional burnout; psychological well-being; wellness; well-being; graduate medical education; internship and residency; surveys and questionnaires


Adult and Continuing Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Leadership | Family Medicine | Health and Physical Education | Higher Education and Teaching | Internal Medicine | Interprofessional Education | Neurology | Primary Care | Surgery



The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the residency experience for physicians across all specialties. There have been studies examining resident perspectives on changes in curriculum and clinical experiences due to the pandemic; however, little research has been conducted on how residents in different specialties interpreted their educational experience and rates of burnout during the pandemic.


We extended surveys to 281 residents across 15 separate residency programs between November 17, 2020, and December 20, 2020. The questions pertained to burnout and the effects of the pandemic on their careers. Differences between general and specialty medicine resident responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Mann-Whitney U test.


The final analysis included 105 responses (40% response rate). We received 62 surveys (59%) from general medicine residents and 43 surveys (41%) from specialty medicine residents, with a higher response rate from junior-level trainees in both groups. We found no significant differences between general and specialty residents on the level of burnout, impact on clinical experience, or future career due to COVID-19, though there was a significant difference between resident groups on the perceived impact of COVID-19 on learning.


Specialty medicine residents reported a negative perception of the pandemic’s impact on their learning during residency suggesting a greater impact on training than was perceived by the general medicine residents. Residents from general and specialty medicine programs reported similar levels of burnout and similar perceptions of the pandemic’s impact on their clinical experience and future career prospects. Understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on resident education and well-being should serve graduate medical education administrators well and prepare them for future interruptions in the traditional learning process.