Publication Date



resident wellness, scale development, burnout, factor analysis, graduate medical education


Purpose: Graduate medical education programs have a responsibility to monitor resident wellness. Residents are at risk of burnout, depression, and suicide. Burnout and depression are associated with poor patient care. Many existing tools measure burnout, depression, and general human well-being, but resident wellness is a distinct construct. We aimed to develop an instrument to measure resident wellness directly.

Methods: An expert panel from two purposefully different graduate medical education institutions generated a behavior- and experience-based model of resident wellness. The panel and resident leaders from both institutions generated 92 items, which were tested alongside anchor scales measuring burnout, depression, personality, optimism, life satisfaction, and social desirability in a convenience sample of 62 residents. Ten items were selected using a combination of factor analysis, a genetic algorithm, and purposeful selection. The 10-item scale was distributed to 5 institutions at which 376 residents completed it anonymously. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine the factor structure of the scale.

Results: The model of resident wellness aligned with an accepted framework of well-being in the literature. The 10-item Resident Wellness Scale broadly covered the model and correlated meaningfully with anchor scales. The factor structure of the scale suggested sensitivity to meaningful work, life security, institutional support, and social support.

Conclusions: This novel Resident Wellness Scale is designed to track residents’ wellness longitudinally. It is sensitive to aspects of resident wellness that have been shown to reduce burnout and depression and appears to be a psychometrically strong measure of resident wellness.




August 8th, 2018


September 7th, 2018


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