Complications and Surgeon Health: Resources for individuals and institutions

Gagan Prakash, Chloe E. Peters, Gina Badalato, Lindsay A. Hampson, Jay D. Raman, Aditya Bagrodia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The emotional impact of surgical complications on urologists is a significant yet historically under-addressed issue. Traditionally, surgeons have been expected to cope with complications and their psychological effects in silence, perpetuating a culture of perfectionism and 'silent suffering.' This has left many unprepared to handle the emotional toll of adverse events during their training and early careers. Recognizing the gap in structured education on this matter, there is a growing movement to openly address and educate on the emotional consequences of surgical complications. This article underscores the importance of such educational initiatives in the mid-career phase, proposing strategies to promote surgeon health, and psychological safety. It advocates for utilizing Morbidity and Mortality conferences as platforms for peer support, learning from 'near miss' events, and encourages at least annual department-wide discussions to raise awareness and normalize the emotional challenges faced by surgeons. Furthermore, it highlights the role of formal peer support programs, acceptance and commitment therapy, and resilience training as vital tools for promoting surgeon well-being. Resources from various organizations, including the American Urological Association and the American Medical Association, are now available to facilitate these critical conversations. By integrating these resources and encouraging a culture of openness and support, the article suggests that the surgical community can better manage the inevitable emotional ramifications of complications, thereby fostering resilience and reducing burnout among surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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