Happiness and Residency
A Qualitative Study
Maj Eron G. Manusov, USAF, MC
Arch Fam Med. 1994;3(1):61-67.
Well-being is a balance between positive and negative compensatory forces. The entirety of research on resident well-being is on reducing negative forces, or stressors. Positive factors, or "happiers," can compensate for negative factors to keep an overall sense of well-being at a constant level. Fourteen first-year residents were interviewed at four family practice residency programs to study the happiers of residents. The hour-long interviews were semistructured with open-ended communication. Information was tape-recorded and analyzed for trends using a qualitative template technique. The Faces Scale was administered as a happiness visual analogue scale. The pursuit of goals, positivism, and relationships were the three major happiers described. Two happiers, religion and feedback, were less frequently reported and were classified as minor happiers. All 14 residents interviewed considered themselves to be happy. The findings in this study have numerous implications for future research and resident education.
From the Department of Family Practice, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.