Stress in medical residents: Care needs exploration in a public hospital

Eduardo A. Vidal V., Adolfo Chávez-Negrete, Angélica Riveros, Juan José Sánchez-Sosa


Sustained poorly managed stress leads to emotional and behavioral complications, including emotional reactions detrimental to wellbeing and effective human performance. In addition to individual suffering, the consequences of chronic stress interfere with efficient work achievement, and physicians in specialized training are no exception. Objective. The present study sought to identify persistent sources of stress in medical residents and establish organizational-interpersonal factors, aiming to offer ways to improve work/training conditions that would enhance wellbeing and performance. Method. A total of 86 medical residents of a public hospital in Mexico City participated in a two-step study combining qualitative and quantitative strategies. First, a set of in-depth interviews probed sources of stress, from which a questionnaire containing 52 items further explored the type of stress sources. Results. Quantitatively, the most stressful conditions included: excessive workloads, daytime drowsiness, fatigue, exhaustion, being humiliated in front of fellow residents, and unsatisfactory-inadequate sleep. In addition to general factors frequently found in public hospitals with scarce resources, results revealed numerous inadequate ways of interpersonal instances where advanced residents and supervisors bashed, belittled, or derogated less advanced residents. Discussion. The main findings are analyzed in the context of either the absence of effective regulations or lack of their enforcement and include suggestions to improve such conditions.

Palabras clave

Physicians; Healthcare; Depressive symptoms; Organizational climate; Interpersonal; Chronic stress.

Texto completo:


  • Dra. Patricia Ortega Andeane. Editora       
  • Mtra. Maricela Irepan Aguilar. Editora Asociada
  • Dr. Octavio Salvador Ginez. Editor Asociado                                             ISSN digital: 2007-0810