The well-being of residents, our future medical specialists, is not only beneficial to the individual physician but also conditional for delivering high-quality patient care. Therefore, the authors further explored how residents experience their own well-being in relation to their professional and personal life. The authors conducted a qualitative study based on a phenomenological approach. From June to October 2013, 13 in-depth interviews were conducted with residents in various training programs using a semi-structured interview guide to explore participants' experience of their well-being in relation to their professional life. The data were collected and analyzed through an iterative process using the thematic network approach. Effort-reward balance and perceived autonomy were dominant overarching experiences in influencing residents' well-being. Experiencing sufficient autonomy was important in residents' roles as caregivers, as learners and in their personal lives. The experienced effort-reward balance could both positively and negatively influence well-being. We found two categories of ways that influence residents' experience of well-being; (1) professional lives: delivering patient care, participating in teamwork, learning at the workplace and dealing with the organization and (2) personal lives: dealing with personal characteristics and balancing work-life. In residents' well-being experiences, the effort-reward balance and perceived autonomy are crucial. Additionally, ways that influence residents' well-being are identified in both their professional and personal lives. These dominant experiences and ways that influence well-being could be key factors for interventions and residency training adaptations for enhancing residents' well-being.
Keywords: Effort–reward balance; Influencing factors; Postgraduate medical education; Professional autonomy; Professional life; Residents’ experienced well-being.