Combating stress and burnout in surgical practice: A review

Charles M. Balch, Tait Shanafelt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Surgeons train for many years and work long hours, often dealing with stressful situations. As a result, some surgeons may experience burnout, which in some cases may lead to depression and/or drug dependency. Identifying and effectively managing causes of stress as well as determining the optimal work-life balance is critical for obtaining personal and professional career satisfaction. This article explores causes of surgeon burnout and reviews results from the American College of Surgeons Burnout Survey. Strategies for personal and professional growth, wellness and renewal are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-430
Number of pages14
JournalThoracic Surgery Clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • Burnout
  • Career satisfaction
  • Stress
  • Surgeon
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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