Professional Burnout, Career Choice Regret, and Unmet Needs for Well-Being Among Urology Residents
Objective: To measure burnout and career choice regret from the American Urological Association Census, a national sample of urology residents, and to identify unmet needs for well-being.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study describing U.S. urology residents’ responses to the 22-item Maslach Burnout Inventory and questions about career and specialty choice regret from the 2019 AUA Census. Respondents reported and prioritized unmet needs for resident well-being.
Results: Among 415 respondents (31% response), the prevalence of professional burnout was 47%. Burnout symptoms were significantly higher among second-year residents (65%) compared to other training levels (P = .02). Seventeen and 9% of respondents reported regretting their overall career and specialty choices, respectively. Among the 53% of respondents who had ever reconsidered career and specialty choice, a majority (54%) experienced this most frequently during the second year of residency, significantly more than other training levels (P = .04). Regarding unmet needs, 62% of respondents prioritized the ability to attend personal health appointments; the majority experienced difficulty attending such appointments during work hours, more so among women than men (70% vs 53%, P < .01).
Conclusion: In the largest study of urology resident burnout to date, 47% of residents, including 65% of second-year residents, met criteria for professional burnout. One in 6 residents reported career choice regret. Targeting interventions to early-career residents and enabling access to medical and mental health care should be priorities for reform.