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Traumatized attendings – When the doctor has the disease

      Highlights

      • PTSD prevalence among attending physicians is double that of the general population.
      • High risk specialties for development of PTSD include OBGYN and general surgery.
      • PTSD risk factors are related to burnout, work-environment, hours, female gender.
      • These risk factors for PTSD are not uniform between medical specialties.

      Abstract

      Background

      This study aims to compare PTSD prevalence between seven medical specialties and to identify potential risk factors for PTSD.

      Methods

      A cross-sectional national survey of attending physicians (n = 2216) was conducted and screened for PTSD using the Primary Care PTSD Screen. Stepwise multivariable regression analysis with backward elimination identified potential risk factors.

      Results

      Overall prevalence of PTSD was 14% and ranged from 7% to 18% for psychiatrists and OBGYNs, respectively (p = 0.004). Six potential risk factors for PTSD included: emotional exhaustion, job dissatisfaction, lack of autonomy, working >60 h per week, poor camaraderie, and female gender (p < 0.05).

      Conclusions

      The prevalence of PTSD in attending physicians is more than double that of the general population. Higher risk specialties include OBGYN and general surgery. Specialty-specific interventions targeted at reducing physician burnout and improving the physician work-environment are needed to improve physician wellness and reduce PTSD.

      Keywords

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