Intimate Partner Violence Among Surgeons: We are Not Immune

Sharon L. Stein, Jonathan T. Bliggenstorfer, Asya Ofshteyn, Marion C. Henry, Patricia Turner, Barbara Bass, Celeste Hollands, Emily Steinhagen, Marie Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The incidence and risk factors for IPV are not well-studied among surgeons. We sought to fill this gap in knowledge by surveying surgeons to estimate the incidence and identify risk factors associated with IPV. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: An estimated 36.4% of women and 33.6% of men in the United States have experienced IPV. Risk factors include low SES, non-White ethnicity, psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and history of childhood abuse. Families with higher SES are not exempt from IPV, yet there is very little data examining incidence and risk factors among these populations. METHODS: An anonymous online survey targeting US-based surgeons was distributed through 4 major surgical societies. Demographics, history of abuse, and related factors were assessed. Chi-square analysis and multivariable logistic regression were utilized to evaluate for potential risk factors of IPV. RESULTS: Eight hundred eighty-two practicing surgeons and trainees completed the survey, of whom 536 (61%) reported experiencing some form of behavior consistent with IPV. The majority of respondents were women (74.1%, P = 0.004). Emotional abuse was most common (57.3%), followed by controlling behavior (35.6%), physical abuse (13.1%), and sexual abuse (9.6%).History of mental illness, [odds ratio (OR) 2.32, P < 0.001], alcohol use (frequent/daily OR 1.76, P = 0.035 and occasional OR 1.78, P = 0.015), childhood physical abuse (OR 1.96, P = 0.020), childhood emotional abuse (OR 1.76, P = 0.008), and female sex (OR 1.46, P = 0.022) were associated with IPV. CONCLUSIONS: As the first national study of IPV among surgeons, this analysis demonstrates surgeons experience IPV and share similar risk factors to the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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