American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
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Grit, Resilience, and Burnout Among Plastic Surgery Residents, Fellows, and Attendings
Tomer Lagziel, BS; Sohayla Rostami, DO; Scott D Lifchez, MD; Richard J Redett, MD; Julie Caffrey, DO, MS; Scott Hultman, MD, MBA
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Introduction: "Grit" and "resilience" are being assessed in physicians and their association with career success and burnout. Grit is described as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” resilience is defined as “a measure of stress coping ability," and burnout has been described as "emotional exhaustion" in response to "prolonged emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job." To our knowledge, these qualities and their association have not been assessed in plastic surgery.
Methods: We surveyed plastic surgery residents, fellows, and attendings at our institution to assess the prevalence of burnout and its association with grit and resilience. We performed a multivariate analysis to determine what attributes were associate with vary levels of burnout, grit, and resilience.
Results: Preliminary analysis of 22 responses with a breakdown of 6 were plastic surgery attendings and 16 were trainees (either residents or fellows). The gender ratio was 63.64% males and 36.36% female. Overall moderate to high burnout was seen in 63.64% of doctors. On an individual subscale, 18.18% had high Emotional Exhaustion (EE), 50% had high Depersonalization (DP), and 36.36% reported high burnout on Personal Accomplishment (PA). Higher grit and resilience scores were associated with previous military experience (p=0.04), non-trainee work status (p=0.04), and lower standardized exam scores (p<0.05). Additionally, higher resilience was associated with the male sex (p=0.03) and higher levels of burnout in females (p<0.05). There were negative correlations for EE and DP parameters of burnout with PA and grit/resilience.
Conclusions: Preliminary observations indicate that higher levels of grit/resilience may offer protection against burnout as observed by an inverse correlation between the parameters. Plastic surgeons with a military background and lower standardized scores were associated higher grit/resilience, possibly due to previous experiences requiring them to overcome adversity.


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