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Viewpoint |

Promoting Balance in the Lives of Resident Physicians A Call to Action

Arghavan Salles, MD, PhD1; Cara A. Liebert, MD1; Ralph S. Greco, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(7):607-608. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.0257.
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This Viewpoints report on a program to help residents cope with daily stress, provide tools to manage challenges after completing residency, and reduce the risk of burnout, depression, and suicide.

As physicians, we spend a significant amount of time counseling our patients on how to live healthier lives. Ironically, as trainees and practicing physicians, we often do not prioritize our own physical and psychological health. Most residents go to work despite significant physical impairment and severe anxiety.1 Compared with population controls, residents are more likely to experience burnout and exhibit symptoms of depression.2 These problems persist into practice; a recent national survey3 found that 40% of surgeons were burnt out and that 30% had symptoms of depression. Another study4 reported that 6% of surgeons experienced suicidal ideation in the preceding 12 months. Perhaps most startling, there are roughly 300 to 400 physicians who die by suicide per year—the equivalent of 3 medical school graduating classes.5

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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