Professional Demands and Job Satisfaction in Orthopaedic Trauma: An OTA Member Survey

Brian P Cunningham, David C. Swanson, Hrayr Basmajian, Ryan McLemore, Gilbert Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: The goal of this study was to examine the factors that affect career satisfaction in orthopaedic traumatologists. We hypothesize that the level of stress and career satisfaction in orthopaedic traumatology would be affected by increased number of call nights and work hours. Data Sources: A 30-question survey was emailed to members of the OTA. The survey evaluated 5 critical areas: training/experience, practice characteristics, demands, stress management strategies, and satisfaction. Study Selection: After approval by the OTA research committee, all active and associate US members of the OTA were contacted. Data Extraction: The survey was open to the OTA members from July through November of 2012. Data Synthesis: Of 1031 members of the OTA, 263 members responded for an overall response rate of 25.5%. Most respondents were fellowship-trained (218, 82.9%) and predominantly young (<5 years in practice, 34.4%) or established surgeons (>15 years in practice, 28.5%). Most surgeons were married (229, 87.1%) and have not been divorced (226, 85.9%). Career satisfaction was statistically improved by belonging to larger practice (P = 0.016), decreased by work for more hours per week (P = 0.001), and improved by taking more call (P = 0.014). Conclusions: Career satisfaction among orthopaedic trauma surgeons was extremely high. Our results indicate that young surgeons may improve their job satisfaction and potentially prolong their career by limiting the numbers of hours worked, taking a consistent number of calls and joining a larger group. Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level V. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e499-e503
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • burnout
  • call
  • demands
  • job satisfaction


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