Document Type



Cardiothoracic Surgery


Objective: To assess harassment among surgical trainees and its effects on mental health, and to explore its association with gender.
Methods: The nationwide cross-sectional pilot study was conducted by the Association of Women Surgeons of Pakistan from July to September 2019, and included surgical trainees of either gender working in both public and private hospitals. Data was collected using an anonymous online survey form to assess harassment and self-perceived burnout and depression. Data was analysed using SPSS 22.
Results: Of the 147 respondents, 49(33.3%) were males; 98(66.6%) were females; and 118(80.3%) were residents. Workplace harassment was reported by 80(54.4%) trainees. Among the males it was reported by 24(49%) and among the females by 56(57%) (p=0.349). Of those having faced harassment, 9(11.3%) reported it to the administration. Severe self-perceived burnout was reported by 102(69.4%) respondents, and severe self-perceived depression by 69(46.9%). Respondents experiencing bullying were more likely to report severe self-perceived burnout than those not experiencing bullying (p=0.02). Multivariable logistic regression showed female gender to be significantly associated with sexual harassment (odds ratio: 4.261 [95% confidence interval: 1.067-17.019]) and severe self-perceived depression (odds ratio: 5.052 [95% confidence interval: 1.187-21.503]). Need for a support group was identified by 134(91.2%) trainees.
Conclusions: An overwhelming need was found for trainee surgeon support groups and other interventions targeted at improving the workplace environment for surgical trainees in Pakistan.

Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association