Global disparities in surgeons’ workloads, academic engagement and rest periods: the on-calL shIft fOr geNEral SurgeonS (LIONESS) study

Yıldırım A. C.

UPDATES IN SURGERY, vol.76, no.2, pp.1-19, 2024 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13304-024-01859-7
  • Journal Name: UPDATES IN SURGERY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-19
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes


The workload of general surgeons is multifaceted, encompassing not only surgical procedures but also a myriad of other responsibilities. From April to May 2023, we conducted a CHERRIES-compliant internet-based survey analyzing clinical practice, academic engagement, and post-on-call rest. The questionnaire featured six sections with 35 questions. Statistical analysis used Chi-square tests, ANOVA, and logistic regression (SPSS® v. 28). The survey received a total of 1.046 responses (65.4%). Over 78.0% of responders came from Europe, 65.1% came from a general surgery unit; 92.8% of European and 87.5% of North American respondents were involved in research, compared to 71.7% in Africa. Europe led in publishing research studies (6.6 ± 8.6 yearly). Teaching involvement was high in North America (100%) and Africa (91.7%). Surgeons reported an average of 6.7 ± 4.9 on-call shifts per month, with European and North American surgeons experiencing 6.5 ± 4.9 and 7.8 ± 4.1 on-calls monthly, respectively. African surgeons had the highest on-call frequency (8.7 ± 6.1). Post-on-call, only 35.1% of respondents received a day off. Europeans were most likely (40%) to have a day off, while African surgeons were least likely (6.7%). On the adjusted multivariable analysis HDI (Human Development Index) (aOR 1.993) hospital capacity > 400 beds (aOR 2.423), working in a specialty surgery unit (aOR 2.087), and making the on-call in-house (aOR 5.446), significantly predicted the likelihood of having a day off after an on-call shift. Our study revealed critical insights into the disparities in workload, access to research, and professional opportunities for surgeons across different continents, underscored by the HDI.