Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr James L. Howard


Performing surgical procedures can increase the physiological stress and mental strain experienced by practicing surgeons and their trainees. This may negatively affect work and learning capacity and quality of patient care by increasing the incidence of burnout, sleep disorders, fatigue and other negative behaviours such as substance abuse. This study aimed to compare the physiological and psychological responses of similar clinical situations between orthopaedic surgeons and their clinical fellows. An observational prospective cohort study was performed in that matter. Our results showed overall increased physiological responses of the fellows during surgery days compared to the clinic days. On the contrary, staff did not show significant variability in their physiological responses between OR and clinic days. Type of procedure and type of approach used for a procedure had a distinct effect on fellows’ physiological responses. Further evaluation including physiological responses during different intraoperative steps might help identify specific stressors present in the working and learning environment.