To describe the sleep patterns, working hours, and perceptions of fatigue among veterinary house officers and to identify potential areas for targeted intervention to improve well-being.
303 house officers.
A 62-item questionnaire was generated by use of an online platform and sent to veterinary house officers at participating institutions via email. Responses were analyzed for trends and associations between variables of interest.
The mean age of respondents was 30 ± 3.7 years. Participants included 239 residents and 64 interns. House officers slept significantly less during times when they had clinical responsibilities compared to off-clinic time (6.0 hours vs 7.5 hours, respectively; P < 0.01). The majority of house officers reported working 11 to 13 hours on a typical weekday (58% [174/302]), and 32% reported clinical responsibilities 7 d/wk. Working hours were negatively related to sleep quantity (Pearson correlation coefficient, −0.54; P < 0.01), and perceived sleep quality was worse when on call (P < 0.01). The majority of house officers felt that fatigue negatively interfered with their technical skills, clinical judgment, and ability to empathize to some extent in the previous 4 weeks.
Most house officers fail to obtain sufficient sleep for optimal cognitive function and physical and mental health. Working hours and on call may be important factors contributing to the sleep patterns of veterinary house officers, and training program structure should be critically evaluated to promote protected time for sleep.
To describe surgical management and associated outcomes for dogs with primary spontaneous pneumothorax.
110 client-owned dogs with primary spontaneous pneumothorax that underwent surgical management.
Medical records at 7 veterinary teaching hospitals were reviewed. Data collected included signalment, history, clinical signs, radiographic and CT findings, surgical methods, intraoperative and postoperative complications, outcomes, and histopathologic findings. Follow-up information was obtained by contacting the referring veterinarian or owner.
110 dogs were included, with a median follow-up time of 508 days (range, 3 to 2,377 days). Ninety-nine (90%) dogs underwent median sternotomy, 9 (8%) underwent intercostal thoracotomy, and 2 (2%) underwent thoracoscopy as the sole intervention. Bullous lesions were most commonly found in the left cranial lung lobe (51/156 [33%] lesions) and right cranial lung lobe (37/156 [24%] lesions). Of the 100 dogs followed up for > 30 days, 13 (13%) had a recurrence of pneumothorax, with median time between surgery and recurrence of 9 days. Recurrence was significantly more likely to occur ≤ 30 days after surgery, compared with > 30 days after surgery. Recurrence > 30 days after surgery was rare (3 [3%]). No risk factors for recurrence were identified.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Lung lobectomy via median sternotomy resulted in resolution of pneumothorax in most dogs with primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Recurrence of pneumothorax was most common in the immediate postoperative period, which may have reflected failure to identify lesions during the initial thoracic exploration, rather than development of additional bullae.
To describe veterinary house officers’ perceptions of dimensions of well-being during postgraduate training and to identify potential areas for targeted intervention.
303 house officers.
A 62-item questionnaire was generated by use of an online platform and sent to house officers at participating institutions in October 2020. Responses were analyzed for trends and associations between selected variables.
239 residents, 45 rotating interns, and 19 specialty interns responded to the survey. The majority of house officers felt that their training program negatively interfered with their exercise habits, diet, and social engagement. House officers reported engaging in exercise significantly less during times of clinical responsibility, averaging 1.6 exercise sessions/wk (SD ± 0.8) on clinical duty and 2.4 exercise sessions/wk (SD ± 0.9) when not on clinical duty (P < 0.001). Ninety-four percent of respondents reported experiencing some degree of anxiety regarding their physical health, and 95% of house officers reported feeling some degree of anxiety regarding their current financial situation. Overall, 47% reported that their work-life balance was unsustainable for > 1 year; there was no association between specialty and sustainability of work-life balance. Most house officers were satisfied with their current training program, level of clinical responsibility, and mentorship.
Veterinary house officers demonstrated a poor balance between the demands of postgraduate training and maintenance of personal health. Thoughtful interventions are needed to support the well-being of veterinary house officers.