1 in 4 residents say they're bullied during residency, survey finds

Although most medical residents said they look forward to their first job, many said they experience bullying and depression during residency and blamed work for failed relationships, according to Medscape's 2018 residents lifestyle and happiness report.

Over 1,900 residents across more than 29 specialties responded to Medscape's survey, which asked about personal relationships, depression, what may reduce burnout and what residents look for in a first job.

Seven survey findings:  

1. One in four residents said they are bullied often (4 percent) or occasionally (21 percent), most often by attending physicians (58 percent) and nurses (50 percent).

2. Ten percent of residents said they feel depressed always/most of the time, and 10 percent said they have had suicidal thoughts.   

3. The majority (68 percent) said there is a strong stigma against seeking help for mental health issues.

4. The survey found 69 percent of residents said personal relationships have failed because they don't have time for the social life they want, and 33 percent say they rarely or never have enough time for a satisfying social life. 

5. To avoid burnout at work, 64 percent of residents said manageable work schedules and call hours would help, and 41 percent said sufficient compensation would help. Forty percent said reasonable patient loads would help prevent burnout.

6. Seventy-five percent of residents said work-life balance is the most important factor when choosing their first job as a physician.

7. Despite the challenges, 87 percent of residents said they look forward to being physicians.

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