The relationship between grit and resident well-being

Am J Surg. 2014 Feb;207(2):251-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2013.09.006. Epub 2013 Oct 23.


Background: The well-being of residents in general surgery is an important factor in their success within training programs. Consequently, it is important to identify individuals at risk for burnout and low levels of well-being as early as possible. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that resident well-being may be related to grit, a psychological factor defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

Methods: One hundred forty-one residents across 9 surgical specialties at 1 academic medical center were surveyed; the response rate was 84%. Perseverance was measured using the Short Grit Scale. Resident well-being was measured with (1) burnout using the Maslach Burnout Inventory and (2) psychological well-being using the Dupuy Psychological General Well-Being Scale.

Results: Grit was predictive of later psychological well-being both as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (B = -.20, P = .05) and as measured by the Psychological General Well-Being Scale (B = .27, P < .01).

Conclusions: Measuring grit may identify those who are at greatest risk for poor psychological well-being in the future. These residents may benefit from counseling to provide support and improve coping skills.

Keywords: Burnout; Grit; Well-being.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers*
  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • United States