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Burnout Among Surgeons in the UK During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cohort Study

Houdmont, Jonathan; Daliya, Prita; Theophilidou, Elena; Adiamah, Alfred; Hassard, Juliet; Lobo, Dileep N.; Ahmed, Jamil; Babu, Victor; Baker, Daryll; Bartlett, David; Beckingham, Ian; Bhatti, Imran; Brooks, Adam; Brown, Steven; Burke, Josh; Byrne, Hannah; Chetter, Ian; Cook, Hannah; Coulston, James; Cruddas, Lucinda; Dias, Richard; Dor, Frank; Dube, Mukul; Grant, Katherine; Hammond, John; Hargest, Rachel; Joachim, Theophilus; Joseph, Annie; Kara, Naveed; Karavias, Dimitrios; Kotecha, Sita; Kushairi, Anisa; Lal, Roshan; Lam, Kit; Lasrado, Irwin; Lee, Rachel; Mann, Gurminder; Mannu, George; Maxwell-Armstrong, Charles; McCaslin, James; McDermot, Frank; Miller, Andrew; Miller, Sarah; Morgan, Jenna; Nandhra, Sandip; Narayanasamy, Sangara; O?Brien, Patrick; Parry, Laura; Peters, Kizzie; Pitsika, Marina; Psaltis, Emmanouil; Sargen, Kevin; Sarmah, Panchali; Shyamsundar, Murali; Reddy, Chinnappa; Rollins, Katie; Roslan, Farah; Shalhoub, Joseph; Stanislas, Matt; Tan, Benjamin; Tewari, Nilanjana;...

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Prita Daliya

Elena Theophilidou

Alfred Adiamah

Juliet Hassard

Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery

Jamil Ahmed

Victor Babu

Daryll Baker

David Bartlett

Ian Beckingham

Imran Bhatti

Adam Brooks

Steven Brown

Josh Burke

Hannah Byrne

Ian Chetter

Hannah Cook

James Coulston

Lucinda Cruddas

Richard Dias

Frank Dor

Mukul Dube

Katherine Grant

John Hammond

Rachel Hargest

Theophilus Joachim

Annie Joseph

Naveed Kara

Dimitrios Karavias

Sita Kotecha

Anisa Kushairi

Roshan Lal

Kit Lam

Irwin Lasrado

Rachel Lee

Gurminder Mann

George Mannu

Charles Maxwell-Armstrong

James McCaslin

Frank McDermot

Andrew Miller

Sarah Miller

Jenna Morgan

Sandip Nandhra

Sangara Narayanasamy


Laura Parry

Kizzie Peters

Marina Pitsika

Emmanouil Psaltis

Kevin Sargen

Panchali Sarmah

Murali Shyamsundar

Chinnappa Reddy

Katie Rollins

Farah Roslan

Joseph Shalhoub

Matt Stanislas

Benjamin Tan

Nilanjana Tewari

Pradeep Thomas

Tony Thomas

Jim Tiernan

Giles Toogood

Karl Trimble

Peter Vauhan

Luke Wheldon

Steven White

Tim White

Imeshi Wijetunga

Rebecca Winterborn

Lynda Wyld

Lora Young

the East Midlands Surgical Academic Network (EMSAN) Burnout Study Group


Surgeon burnout has implications for patient safety and workforce sustainability. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of burnout among surgeons in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This cross-sectional online survey was set in the UK National Health Service and involved 601 surgeons across the UK of all specialities and grades. Participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory and a bespoke questionnaire. Outcome measures included emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and low personal accomplishment, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS).

A total of 142 surgeons reported having contracted COVID-19. Burnout prevalence was particularly high in the emotional exhaustion (57%) and depersonalisation (50%) domains, while lower on the low personal accomplishment domain (15%). Burnout prevalence was unrelated to COVID-19 status; however, the greater the perceived impact of COVID-19 on work, the higher the prevalence of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Degree of worry about contracting COVID-19 oneself and degree of worry about family and friends contacting COVID-19 was positively associated with prevalence on all three burnout domains. Across all three domains, burnout prevalence was exceptionally high in the Core Trainee 1–2 and Specialty Trainee 1–2 grades.

These findings highlight potential undesirable implications for patient safety arising from surgeon burnout. Moreover, there is a need for ongoing monitoring in addition to an enhanced focus on mental health self-care in surgeon training and the provision of accessible and confidential support for practising surgeons.


Houdmont, J., Daliya, P., Theophilidou, E., Adiamah, A., Hassard, J., Lobo, D. N., …the East Midlands Surgical Academic Network (EMSAN) Burnout Study Group. (2022). Burnout Among Surgeons in the UK During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cohort Study. World Journal of Surgery, 46, Article 1-9.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 26, 2021
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 28, 2021
Journal World Journal of Surgery
Print ISSN 0364-2313
Electronic ISSN 1432-2323
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Article Number 1-9
Keywords Surgery
Public URL
Publisher URL


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