Transplant Surgeon Burnout and Marital Distress in the Sandwich Generation: The Call for Organizational Support in Family Life

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Transplantation proceedings


Burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment) is the enervation an individual experiences from a chronically taxing work environment. Little research has examined the demands of the sandwich generation (both children and older adults in the home) on burnout and marital satisfaction.

METHODS: This is a cross-sectional survey of American and European transplant surgeons on the effects of sandwich generation-related demands on burnout and marital satisfaction, covarying for transplant surgeon age.

RESULTS: A total of 286 married or partnered transplant surgeons were included. Presence (vs absence) of children in the home did not impact burnout, but those with children who reported difficulties with flexible childcare reported greater emotional exhaustion (P = .03) and depersonalization (P = .02) than those without difficulties. A total of 38.5% of married transplant surgeons reported marital distress. European transplant surgeons reported lower marital satisfaction than those from the United States (P < .01). Having an older adult in the home may also negatively impact transplant surgeons' marital satisfaction (P = .048).

DISCUSSION: As health care organizations move forward with programs aimed at creating a sustainable workforce, providing professional environments supportive of important family-related demands is imperative.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Burnout, Professional; Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Family Relations; Fatigue; Female; Humans; Job Satisfaction; Male; Middle Aged; Surgeons; Surveys and Questionnaires; Transplantation; United States; Workplace

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