Perceptions of stress among pathology residents: survey results and some strategies to reduce them

Am J Clin Pathol. 2007 Dec;128(6):911-9. doi: 10.1309/41781W0JTE7DVMMV.


We conducted a survey to attempt to identify stressors perceived by pathology residents. A comparison of survey results from pathology residents with stressors perceived by residents in other specialties was done to evaluate whether the stressors in pathology are unique. A confidential e-mail survey of residency programs in the United States generated a response rate from program directors of 23.3% and a resident response rate of 6.4%. Although the study is limited by response rates and the data are primarily from university-based residency programs, the concordance between the identifiable risk factors for stress by the resident and program director groups validates the importance of this issue among pathology residency programs. Both groups identified variability in faculty expectations and work overload that inhibits optimal learning as the top 2 stressors for residents. We discuss various factors that contribute to stress and some strategies that pathology residency programs can implement to address the stressors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Faculty, Medical
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data
  • Pathology / education*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workload