Surgical residents more prone to alcohol abuse, stress and depression

surgical residents more prone to alcohol abuse stress and depression

A novel study suggested that medical students, who are being trained to be a surgeon, are at a higher risk of developing stress, anxiety and alcohol abuse, and may get into extreme depression. The researchers mentioned that a stress-countering technique, called mindfulness may help these students to recover from such issues.

Dr. Carter Lebares, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, told that the work culture of the surgical trainees is full of stress, which is normal to bear, but sometime this stress reaches to higher levels and impact the mental health of the person; resulting in depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, etc.

The study considered 566 surgical students in the United States, who had undergone a confidential online survey that revealed nearly 69% burnout.

According to the analysis, 20% of the surgical patients were found to have moderate to severe depression and 11% of the residents experienced suicidal thoughts. Also, 53% of the residents had high stress level, whereas, 49% misused alcohol and 33% were highly addicted to alcohol.


Mindfulness is beneficial for these surgical residents as it would help them in coping up with the situation of job-related stress and it found to be efficient as it lowers the risk of high stress level by 85 percent.

Lebares stated, “Mindfulness isn’t about thinking nicer thoughts — it’s about recognizing stressors, learning to pause and to assess those stressors in a less reactive and emotional way.”