Background. The stress associated with residency training may place house officers at risk for poorer health. We sought to determine the level of self-reported health among resident physicians and to ascertain factors that are associated with their reported health. Methods. A questionnaire was administered to house officers in 4 residency programs at a large Midwestern medical center. Self-rated health was determined by using a health rating scale (ranging from 0 = death to 100 = perfect health) and a Likert scale (ranging from "poor" health to "excellent" health). Independent variables included demographics, residency program type, post-graduate year level, current rotation, depressive symptoms, religious affiliation, religiosity, religious coping, and spirituality. Results. We collected data from 227 subjects (92% response rate). The overall mean (SD) health rating score was 87 (10; range, 40-100), with only 4 (2%) subjects reporting a score of 100; on the Likert scale, only 88 (39%) reported excellent health. Lower health rating scores were significantly associated (P < 0.05) with internal medicine residency program, post-graduate year level, depressive symptoms, and poorer spiritual well-being. In multivariable analyses, lower health rating scores were associated with internal medicine residency program, depressive symptoms, and poorer spiritual well-being. Conclusion. Residents' self-rated health was poorer than might be expected in a cohort of relatively young physicians and was related to program type, depressive symptoms, and spiritual well-being. Future studies should examine whether treating depressive symptoms and attending to spiritual needs can improve the overall health and well-being of primary care house officers.
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