Date of Award

9-23-2010

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Rajita Sinha, PhD

Second Advisor

Rosemarie Fisher, MD

Third Advisor

Robert Rohrbaugh, MD

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore intern's perspectives on how the professional environment impacts their well-being. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted in March and April of 2009 with seventeen interns from residency programs in a variety of specialties at an urban teaching hospital. Investigators coded interview transcripts line-by-line, and identified recurrent themes through an iterative process of analyzing tagged quotations. Three themes (each with three sub-themes) characterized aspects of the professional environment that interns perceived as impacting their well-being: 1) high-quality education (workload, work hours, and quality and quantity of teaching), 2) professional development and satisfaction (making a meaningful contribution to patient care, positive feedback and extrinsic reward, and balance of autonomy and supervision), and 3) social and emotional support from colleagues (feeling supported by the residency program, cooperative team environment, and intern community). These aspects of the professional environment have the potential to significantly impact intern well-being, and should be taken into consideration when developing new systems, interventions and policies to improve the well-being of interns.

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