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Stress Experienced During Pediatric Residency Training Its Causes, Consequences, Recognition, and Solutions

Robert A. Hoekelman, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(2):177-180. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140063021.
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In an EDITORIAL BOARD SPEAKS that appeared in AJDC last year, Ferry1 addressed the issue of burnout experienced by pediatric residents, faculty, and practitioners. She cited the occurrence of four pediatric resident suicides in a major pediatric teaching hospital in the previous year and a 10% incidence of serious emotional difficulties among pediatric residents in four other training programs, which led those residents either to take a protracted leave of absence or to leave training altogether. These events and others led her to realize that the current structure of most pediatric residency programs can lead to an inhumane and unhealthy existence and to the potential for serious mental and physical impairment during training and later in life. She is quite correct; however, such stressful training also engenders decreased quality of medical care and of the education that residency training is supposed to provide. The subject


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