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Inicio Cirugía Española (English Edition) Burnout among General Surgery Residents in the Region of Murcia
Journal Information
Vol. 99. Issue 3.
Pages 248-249 (March 2021)
Vol. 99. Issue 3.
Pages 248-249 (March 2021)
Letter to the Editor
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Burnout among General Surgery Residents in the Region of Murcia
Burnout entre los residentes de Cirugía General de la Región de Murcia
Álvaro Navarro-Barriosa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, María José Cubillana-Martínezb
a Servicio de Cirugía General y del Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca, Murcia, Spain
b Servicio de Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria, Área I-Murcia Oeste, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca, Murcia, Spain
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We have read with interest the article published about the results of the national survey on professional burnout, with the participation of all General Surgery and the Digestive System residents in Spain.1

There is a higher incidence of burnout in young professionals who are excessively involved in their work and in ‘helping professions’, in which the confrontation with intense emotions of pain or illness is common. Thus, healthcare professionals are greatly affected, especially in their first years of work experience.

In the specific case of General Surgery residents, work stress can be related to numerous aspects associated with their training. These include the high workload and high level of responsibility and competitiveness, all of which are commonly associated with situations for which residents have not been prepared during their theoretical training.

In addition, high rates of burnout have been reported. According to a recent review,2 38.5% of General Surgery residents experienced symptoms of burnout at least once a week.

Due to all of the above, we decided to conduct a similar study among General Surgery residents in the region of Murcia. We used the Maslach Burnout Inventory3 and the same form as the one used in the national study, with the participation of 23 residents who agreed to complete the study in our region.

In our analysis, we found high rates of ‘feeling burned out’ among CGAD residents in the region. Of those surveyed, 17.4% were diagnosed with burnout, and 82.6% of the sample presented a high risk to develop burnout syndrome in the future.

In addition, we conducted a sub-analysis asking whether it was more stressful to be at the beginning or at the end of training, since the level of stress and responsibility at both moments can overwhelm residents. Our study included 11 residents from years 3 to 5 (48%) and 12 newer residents from years 1 or 2 (52%); the level of work stress was elevated in both groups according to the Maslach Burnout Inventory (68 in the former and 65.5 in the latter), with no significant differences observed (P=.359). Our hypothesis is that both groups are subjected to a high level of stress, mainly due to the lack of days off after night shifts, stress related to the medical profession, a high level of involvement, etc.

The conclusions of our study support those of the Spanish study. Burnout is more frequent than desired among General Surgery residents in Spanish hospitals.

V. Lucas-Guerrero, M. Pascua-Solé, J.L. Ramos Rodríguez, A. Trinidad Borrás, C. González de Pedro, J.M. Jover Navalón, et al.
Burnout in General Surgery Residents. Survey From the Spanish Association of Surgeons.
Cir Esp., 98 (2020), pp. 442-449
H. Yue-Yung, J. Ryan, D. Brock H, et al.
Discrimination, Abuse,Harassment, and Burnout in Surgical Residency Training.
N. Engl. J. Med., 381 (2019),
S.E. Jackson, C. Maslach, M. Leiter.
Maslach burnout inventory manual.
Mind Garden, (2016),

Please cite this article as: Navarro-Barrios Á, Cubillana-Martínez MJ. Burnout entre los residentes de Cirugía General de la Región de Murcia. Cir Esp. 2021;99:248–249.

Copyright © 2020. AEC
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