BACKGROUND: Acute augmentation of stress and disruption of training, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, may impact resident wellbeing .
OBJECTIVES: We investigated how residents in various specialties in the United States were impacted by COVID-19 on mental wellbeing and resilience levels, and the methodology for coping with the stress incurred .
METHODS: In April 2020, the authors electronically surveyed 200 residency programs of all specialties nationally . The survey utilized two validated questionnaires to assess wellbeing and resilience, while investigating demographics and coping mechanisms . The authors used student t-test and ANOVA to quantitatively analyze the data .
RESULTS: The sample consisted of 1115 respondents (with an 18% response rate). Male gender & Age> 39 years were associated with more favorable average well-being indices (both p <0.01). Regarding resources, institutional support (IS) appeared favorable for resident well-being (IS 2.74, SD1.96 vs NoIS 3.71, SD2.29, p <0.01) & resilience (IS 3.72, SD0.70 vs NoIS 3.53, SD0.73, p = 0.05). The effects of mindfulness practices (MP) were not statistically significant for improvement of wellness (MP 2.87, SD 1.99 vs No MP 2.76, SD 2.15, p = 0.85) or resilience (MP 3.71, SD 0.70 vs No MP 3.72, SD 0.68, p = 0.87).
CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the critical importance of resident mental status in cases of augmented stress situations . Institutional support may contribute to promotion of resident wellbeing.