Training satisfaction and well-being among veterinary anaesthesia residents: time for action

Published:September 07, 2021DOI:



      To explore the satisfaction and well-being experienced by anaesthesia residents during their training, and to investigate factors that may have influenced their experiences.

      Study design

      Cross-sectional online anonymous voluntary survey.

      Sample population

      A total of 150 (of approximately 600 canvassed) former veterinary anaesthesia residents.


      Participants were invited to complete an internet-based survey regarding the satisfaction and well-being experienced during their residency. Multiple choice, categorical, dichotomous, Likert-type rating scales and slider questions were used to investigate five domains (demographic, working conditions, educational environment, training satisfaction, well-being). Sampling adequacy, questionnaire reliability and participant responses were investigated by Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) indices, Cronbach’s α and standard statistical techniques, respectively (p < 0.05).


      The questionnaire demonstrated good sampling adequacy (median KMO index 0.74; range 0.51–0.89) and high item ‘reliability’ (α = 0.82–0.94). Of the 150 responders, (25% participation rate) 62% were satisfied, 14% were neutral and 24% were dissatisfied with their residency training; 60.6% would do the residency again, 39.3% would not or were unsure. Sex and age did not correlate with training satisfaction (p > 0.05). Salary/stipend was considered inadequate by 70% of responders; 66% received no on-call supplement. Greater supervisory input, a good working environment and extra income when on-call were positively correlated with training satisfaction (p < 0.01). The majority (94.6%) of trainees suffered from at least one medical condition during their residency, with fatigue, sleep disturbance or anxiety reported by > 62%.


      Although a quarter of responders were dissatisfied with their residency, several modifiable factors were identified, particularly with respect to supervisors’ input, working environment and pay, which could inform improvements for future residency programmes. Most trainees experienced negative health impacts; however, this parallels the general situation in both the medical and veterinary professions, which requires greater attention from the supervisors, trainees and colleges.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education)
        The Program Directors’ Guide to the common program requirements (Residency).
        Version 1.0 June 20, 2019. Editorial Revision 1.0: updated January 31, 2020. 2020;
        Date accessed: September 13, 2021
        • Bennett R.C.
        Web-based surveys – recommendations for their design and interpretation.
        Vet Anaesth Analg. 2019; 47: 1-2
        • Buddeberg-Fischer B.
        • Dietz C.
        • Klaghofer R.
        • Buddeberg C.
        Swiss residents' arguments for and against a career in medicine.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2006; 6: 98
        • Castanelli D.J.
        • Weller J.M.
        • Chander A.R.
        • et al.
        A balancing act: The Supervisor of Training role in anaesthesia education.
        Anaesth Intensive Care. 2019; 47: 349-356
        • Choi B.C.K.
        • Pak A.W.P.
        A catalog of biases in questionnaires.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2005 (accessed)
        • Coughlin S.S.
        Recall bias in epidemiologic studies.
        J Clin Epidemiol. 1990; 43: 87-91
        • Cronbach L.J.
        Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests.
        Psychometrika. 1951; 16: 297-334
        • Driessen E.W.
        • Overeem K.
        • van der Vleuten C.P.M.
        Get yourself a mentor.
        Med Educ. 2011; 45: 438-439
        • Dyrbye L.
        • Shanafelt T.
        A narrative review on burnout experienced by medical students and residents.
        Med Educ. 2016; 50: 132-149
        • Emmett L.
        • Aden J.
        • Bunina A.
        • et al.
        Feminization and Stress in the Veterinary Profession: A Systematic Diagnostic Approach and Associated Management.
        Behav Sci (Basel). 2019; 9: 114
        • Eysenbach G.
        Improving the quality of web surveys: the checklist for reporting results of internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES).
        J Med Internet Res. 2004; 6: e34
        • Feinerer I.
        Text mining package. Last
        Date: 2019
        Date accessed: September 13, 2021
        • Flexman A.M.
        • Gelb A.W.
        Mentorship in anesthesia.
        Curr Opin Anesthesiol. 2011; 24: 676-681
        • Friedman Z.
        • Hayter M.A.
        • Everett T.C.
        • et al.
        Power and conflict: the effect of a superior's interpersonal behaviour on trainees’ ability to challenge authority during a simulated airway emergency.
        Anaesthesia. 2015; 70: 1119-1129
        • Gardiner A.
        It shouldn’t happen to a veterinary profession: the evolving challenges of recruitment and retention in the UK.
        Vet Rec. 2020; 187: 351-353
        • Gaszynska E.
        • Stankiewicz-Rudnicki M.
        • Szatko F.
        • et al.
        Life satisfaction and work-related satisfaction among anesthesiologists in Poland.
        Sci World J. 2014; 2014: 601865
        • Gordon E.K.
        • Baranaov D.Y.
        • Fleisher L.
        The role of feedback in ameliorating burnout.
        Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2018; 31: 361-365
        • Green B.
        • Oeppen R.S.
        • Smith D.W.
        • Brennan P.A.
        Challenging hierarchy in healthcare teams – ways to flatten gradients to improve teamwork and patient care.
        Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017; 55: 449-453
        • Gregory S.
        • Demartini C.
        Satisfaction of doctors with their training: evidence from UK.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2017; 17: 851
        • Hill K.A.
        • Samuels E.A.
        • Gross C.P.
        • et al.
        Assessment of the Prevalence of Medical Student Mistreatment by Sex, Race/Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation.
        JAMA Intern Med. 2020; 180: 653-665
        • Ismail M.N.
        • Lindstrom Johnson S.
        • Weaver S.J.
        • et al.
        Factors influencing burnout among resident physicians and the solutions they recommend.
        Postgrad Med J. 2018; 94: 540-542
        • Jackson S.H.
        The role of stress in anaesthetists’ health and wellbeing.
        Acta Anaesthesiol Scan. 1999; 43: 583-602
        • Kaiser H.F.
        An index of factorial simplicity.
        Psychometrika. 1974; 39: 31-36
        • Kerr J.
        • Skinner A.
        Supervision of trainee anaesthetists: a survey of opinions and practices.
        Anaesthesia. 2002; 57: 76-81
        • Kilminster S.M.
        • Jolly B.C.
        Effective supervision in clinical practice settings: a literature review.
        Med Educ. 2000; 34: 827-840
        • Lambert J.A.
        • Vanderbilt A.A.
        • Papadimos T.J.
        Improved emotional intelligence in perioperative care through simulation-based medical education during anesthesiology residency training: a call for implementation.
        Adv Med Educ Pract. 2019; 10: 39-42
        • Larsson J.
        • Rosenqvist U.
        • Holmström I.
        Being a young and inexperienced trainee anaesthetist: a phenomenological study on tough working conditions.
        Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2006; 50: 653-658
        • Law M.
        • Lam M.
        • Wu D.
        • et al.
        Changes in personal relationships during Residency and their effects on Resident wellness: a qualitative study.
        Acad Med. 2017; 92: 1601-1606
        • Looseley A.
        • Wainwright E.
        • Cook T.M.
        • et al.
        Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees; a quantitative analysis of the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study.
        Anaesthesia. 2019; 74: 1231-1239
        • Mansukhani M.P.
        • Kolla B.P.
        • Surani S.
        • et al.
        Sleep deprivation in resident physicians, work hour limitations, and related outcomes: a systematic review of the literature.
        Postgrad Med. 2015; 124: 241-249
        • McClelland L.
        • Holland J.
        • Lomas J.
        • et al.
        A national survey of the effects of fatigue on trainees in anaesthesia in the UK.
        Anaesthesia. 2017; 72: 1069-1077
        • McColl E.
        • Jacoby A.
        • Thomas L.
        • et al.
        Design and use of questionnaires: a review of best practice applicable to surveys of health service staff and patients.
        Health Technol Assess. 2001; 5: 1-256
        • Pattni N.
        • Arzola C.
        • Malavade A.
        • et al.
        Challenging authority and speaking up in the operating room environment: a narrative synthesis.
        Br J Anaesth. 2019; 122: 233-244
        • Schell R.M.
        • DiLorenzo A.
        Learning and choosing an optimal learning environment.
        in: Bowe E.A. Schell R.M. DiLorenzo A. Education in Anesthesia, How to Deliver the Best Learning Experience. Cambridge Medicine, UK2018: 3-12
        • Sun H.
        • David O.
        • Warner D.O.
        • Macario A.
        • et al.
        Repeated cross-sectional surveys of burnout, distress, and depression among anesthesiology residents and first-year graduates.
        Anesthesiology. 2019; 131: 668-677
        • Taber K.S.
        The use of Cronbach’s alpha when developing and reporting research instruments in science education.
        Res Sci Educ. 2018; 48: 1273-1296
        • Ulmer C.
        • Miller Wolman D.
        • Johns M.M.E.
        • et al.
        Improving the Resident Learning Environment.
        In: Resident Duty Hours: Enhancing Sleep, Supervision, and Safety. National Academies Press, USA2009: 125-157
        • van der Goot W.E.
        • Cristancho S.M.
        • de Carvalho Filho M.A.
        • et al.
        Trainee-environment interactions that stimulate motivation: A rich pictures study.
        Med Educ. 2019; 54: 242-253
        • van de Ridder M.
        Clerks’ and residents’ contributions to building a safe educational environment in a medical teaching hospital: the role of a system of educational quality management (SEQM).
        in: Nair C.S. Mertova P. Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through Student Feedback in Medical and Health Sciences. Chandos Publishing, UK2014: 93-121
        • Wainwright E.
        • Looseley A.
        • Mouton R.
        • et al.
        Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees: a qualitative analysis of in-depth participant interviews in the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study.
        Anaesthesia. 2019; 74: 1240-1251