Identification of Leadership Behaviors that Impact General Surgery Junior Residents’ Well-being: A Needs Assessment in a Single Academic Center

Samuel Torres-Landa, Kirstin Moreno, Karen J. Brasel, David A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Emerging literature has started to link leadership with the well-being of team members; however, this link during residency training has not been studied. The objective of this study was to perform a needs assessment to identify leadership behaviors among senior residents and evaluate the impact that these behaviors have on junior residents’ well-being. DESIGN: A semi-structured question script was developed and ∼60 minute virtual focus groups were held during protected educational time, until data saturation was reached. Data analysis was performed in the tradition of grounded theory. SETTING: This study was performed at Oregon Health & Science University, one of the largest general surgery programs. PARTICIPANTS: Participants enrolled in the general surgery residency program from July 2020 to February 2021 were included. 35 general surgery residents participated in the focus groups. RESULTS: Two major themes resulted from the data analysis: (1) Effective leadership behaviors and their positive consequences, and (2) Ineffective leadership behaviors and their negative consequences. Effective and ineffective leadership were characterized by the presence or absence of 6 main behaviors: supportive and empowering, team building, management skills, emotional intelligence, effective communication, and teaching. Effective and ineffective leadership positively and negatively impacted residents’ well-being, individual growth, and psychological safety. CONCLUSIONS: The results from this study identified leadership behaviors from senior residents and demonstrated that those behaviors have a significant short-term and long-term positive and negative impact on junior residents’ well-being. These results fill a gap in the literature, and can serve as a guide for surgical educators to develop evidence-based leadership curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • behaviors
  • curricula
  • leadership
  • needs assessment
  • well-being
  • wellness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of Leadership Behaviors that Impact General Surgery Junior Residents’ Well-being: A Needs Assessment in a Single Academic Center'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this