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Sagalowsky ST, Feraco AM, Baer TE, Litman HJ, Williams DN, Vinci RJ. Acad. Pediatr. 2019; 19(3): 263-268.


Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, 771 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118. Electronic address:


(Copyright © 2019, Academic Pediatric Association, Publisher Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Burnout is prevalent among pediatric residents, and reducing burnout is a priority for pediatric residency programs. Understanding residents' personal circumstances, including relationship satisfaction and perceived work-life conflict, may identify novel determinants of burnout.

OBJECTIVES: To describe intimate partner relationships among pediatric residents and examine associations among relationship satisfaction, work-life factors, and burnout.

METHODS: We identified 203 partnered residents (married or in a self-identified committed, ongoing relationship) from a cross-sectional survey of 258 residents in 11 New England pediatric programs (response rate 54% of 486 surveys distributed), conducted from April through June of 2013. We analyzed associations among relationship satisfaction, work-life factors, and burnout using multivariable regression. Burnout was measured with the brief Maslach Burnout Inventory, and relationship satisfaction with the validated Relationship Assessment Scale.

RESULTS: 40.9% of partnered respondents endorsed burnout. The vast majority of partnered residents (n=167; 85.2%) reported high relationship satisfaction. Lower relationship satisfaction was not associated with burnout. Approximately half of respondents (n=102; 51.5 %) reported being satisfied with life as a resident. When controlling for common stressors, such as sleep deprivation, work-life measures associated with burnout included frequent perceived conflicts between personal and professional life (aOR 4.35; 95% CI 1.91, 9.88) and dissatisfaction with life as a resident (aOR 11.74; 95% CI 4.23, 32.57).

CONCLUSION: Low relationship satisfaction and common work-life stressors were not associated with burnout among partnered pediatric residents. However, perceived work-life conflict and dissatisfaction with resident life were strongly associated with burnout, and are targets for residency programs seeking to ameliorate burnout.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Language: en


Burnout; Relationship satisfaction; Resident wellness; Work-life balance; Work-life conflict


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