The well-being of Swiss general internal medicine residents.

Zumbrunn, Brigitta; Stalder, Odile; Limacher, Andreas; Ballmer, Peter E; Bassetti, Stefano; Battegay, Edouard; Beer, Jürg Hans; Brändle, Michael; Genné, Daniel; Hayoz, Daniel; Henzen, Christoph; Huber, Lars Chistian; Petignat, Pierre-Auguste; Reny, Jean-Luc; Vollenweider, Peter; Aujesky, Drahomir (2020). The well-being of Swiss general internal medicine residents. Swiss medical weekly, 150, w20255. EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag 10.4414/smw.2020.20255

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BACKGROUND Physician well-being has an impact on productivity and quality of care. Residency training is a particularly stressful period. OBJECTIVE To assess the well-being of general internal medicine (GIM) residents and its association with personal and work-related factors. METHODS We conducted an anonymous electronic survey among GIM residents from 13 Swiss teaching hospitals. We explored the association between a reduced well-being (≥5 points based on the Physician Well-Being Index [PWBI]) and personal and work-related factors using multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression. RESULTS The response rate was 54% (472/880). Overall, 19% of residents had a reduced well-being, 60% felt burned out (emotional exhaustion), 47% were worried that their work was hardening them emotionally (depersonalisation), and 21% had career choice regret. Age (odds ratio [OR] 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–1.34), working hours per week (OR 1.04 per hour, 95% CI 1.01–1.07) and <2.5 rewarding work hours per day (OR 3.73, 95% CI 2.01–6.92) were associated with reduced well-being. Administrative workload and satisfaction with the electronic medical record were not. We found significant correlations between PWBI score and job satisfaction (rs = -0.54, p<0.001), medical errors (rs = 0.18, p<0.001), suicidal ideation (rs = 0.12, p = 0.009) and the intention to leave clinical practice (rs = 0.38, p <0.001) CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 20% of Swiss GIM residents appear to have a reduced well-being and many show signs of distress or have career choice regret. Having few hours of rewarding work and a high number of working hours were the most important modifiable predictors of reduced well-being. Healthcare organisations have an ethical responsibility to implement interventions to improve physician well-being.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine > Centre of Competence for General Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > CTU Bern

UniBE Contributor:

Zumbrunn, Brigitta Isolde; Stalder, Odile; Limacher, Andreas and Aujesky, Drahomir


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 16:39

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2020 12:07

Publisher DOI:


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