The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Conflict of Interest
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare for this work.
Introduction: Medical residency training is demanding, with challenging workloads, long hours, and excessive stress that impact residents’ physical, mental, and emotional health. Although the concept of health and wellness in residency has become more widespread across programs, few studies have explored the sexual health of medical residents during training.
Methods: To better understand the current state of sexual health and well-being of resident physicians, physicians in training across Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, OB/GYN, Transitional Year, and General Surgery completed anonymous surveys that incorporated validated questionnaires, including the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and the Index of Premature Ejaculation (IPE) for males, and the female Sexual Function Inventory (FSFI) for females.
Results: A total of 69 out of the potential 100 respondents completed the survey. Most respondents (63.8%) reported a negative impact of medical residency training on their sexual wellness, with married respondents experiencing more dissatisfaction than single respondents (77.8% versus 46.7%; p = 0.02). Higher satisfaction with frequency of intercourse was seen among residents who work less than 60 hours per week (35.7% versus 12.5%; p = 0.02). Moreover, cis males endorsed a lesser impact of sexual wellness on relationship satisfaction compared to cis females (6.9% versus 33.3%; p = 0.01). Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, non-heterosexual respondents reported a larger impact of sexual well-being on relationship satisfaction (75.0% versus 15.5%; p = 0.001). Single respondents displayed greater dissatisfaction (30.0%) with the number and/or type of sexual partners than their counterparts who were married (0.0%; p < 0.001) or in committed relationships (0.0%; p = 0.001). Sexually inactive respondents reported little impact of their sexual well-being on work performance (37.5% versus 0.0%; p = 0.004) compared to their sexually active colleagues, but a higher level of dissatisfaction with the frequency of intercourse (75.0% versus 12.3%; p = 0.007).
Conclusion: Recent studies have demonstrated negative impacts of medical training on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This study demonstrates additional negative impacts on sexual well-being. Multi-institutional, large cohort studies are needed to further assess physician in-training sexual wellness and develop appropriate interventions.
Casale, Fiore; Nallamala, Hinduja; Foster, Todd; Alicea, Christine; and Fick, Laurel
"Sexual Well-being Among Medical Residents at a Community-Based Academic Institution,"
Journal of Wellness: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jwellness/vol5/iss2/2