Purpose To examine associations of social support and social isolation with burnout, program satisfaction, and organization satisfaction among a large population of U.S. residents and fellows and to identify correlates of social support and social isolation. Method All residents and fellows enrolled in graduate medical education programs at Mayo Clinic sites were surveyed in February 2019. Survey items measured social support (emotional and tangible), social isolation, burnout, program satisfaction, and organization satisfaction. Factors of potential relevance to social support were collected (via the survey, institutional administrative records, and interviews with program coordinators and/or program directors) and categorized as individual, interpersonal, program, or work-related factors (duty hours, call burden, elective time, vacation days used before survey administration, required away rotations, etc.). Multivariable regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships between variables. Results Of 1,146 residents surveyed, 762 (66%) from 58 programs responded. In adjusted models, higher emotional and tangible support were associated with lower odds of burnout and higher odds of program and organization satisfaction, while higher social isolation scores were associated with higher odds of burnout and lower odds of program satisfaction and organization satisfaction. Independent predictors of social support and/or social isolation included age, gender, relationship status, parental status, postgraduate year, site, ratings of the program leadership team, ratings of faculty relationships and faculty professional behaviors, satisfaction with autonomy, and vacation days used before survey administration. Conclusions This study demonstrates that social support and social isolation are strongly related to burnout and satisfaction among residents and fellows. Personal and professional relationships, satisfaction with autonomy, and vacation days are independently associated with social support and/or social isolation, whereas most program and work-related factors are not. Additional studies are needed to determine if social support interventions targeting these factors can improve well-being and enhance satisfaction with training.
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