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Resilience among Employed Physicians and Mid-Level Practitioners in Upstate New York

Objective: To investigate the factors associated with resilience among medical professionals.

Data Sources/Study Setting : Administrative information from a rural health care network (1 academic medical center, 6 hospitals, 31 clinics, and 20 school health centers) was triangulated with self-report data from 308 respondents (response rate = 65.1 percent) to a 9/2013–1/2014 survey among practitioners serving a nine-county 5,600-square-mile area.

Study Design: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey comprising valid measures of resilience, practice meaningfulness, satisfaction, and risk/uncertainty intolerance, nested within a prospective, community-based project.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods:The sampling frame included practitioners on institutional payroll, excluding voluntary/involuntary attritions and advisory board/research team members. In multivariable mixed-effects models, we regressed full-range and high-/low-resilience scores on demographics, professional satisfaction, workplace needs, risk/uncertainty intolerance, and service unit characteristics.

Principal Findings:Relational needs, uncertainty intolerance, satisfaction ≥75 percent of the time, number of practitioners on a unit, and workload were significantly associated with resilience. Higher scores were most strongly associated with uncertainty tolerance, satisfaction, and practitioner numbers. Practitioner/unit demographics were mostly nonsignificant.

Conclusions: More resilient practitioners experienced frequent satisfaction, relational needs gratification, better uncertainty tolerance, lighter workloads, and practiced on units with more colleagues. Further studies should investigate well-being interventions based on these mutable factors.

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