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Ob/Gyn Residents Report High Rate of Burnout, Depression

Up to 90 percent of ob/gyn residents have moderate burnout and one-third are depressed

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although established obstetrician/gynecologists are equally satisfied in academic or private practices, residents report a high rate of burnout and depression, according to two studies in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Julie L. Becker, M.D., of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues randomly selected 23 residency programs nationwide and measured residents' career satisfaction, burnout, depression and malpractice concerns.

Although 83 percent expressed satisfaction with their career choices, 89.8 percent had moderate burnout and 34.2 percent were depressed. Of the 96 percent concerned about malpractice, 35 percent were pursuing fellowships solely due to that concern. Those dissatisfied with their careers had twice the rate of depression.

"Overall, residents were satisfied with their career choice, but also negatively influenced by malpractice concerns," Becker and colleagues conclude.

In a second study, Darrel J. Bell, M.D., of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and colleagues found that 74 percent of 129 academic and private-practice ob/gyns were highly satisfied with their careers. They note that "teaching, research and variety contribute more to academic satisfaction, whereas autonomy, physician-patient relationship, and coworkers contribute more to satisfaction for the physician in private practice."

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