2022 Central Surgical Association presidential address: Grit and resilience in surgery

  • Timothy A. Pritts
    Reprint requests: Timothy A. Pritts, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Mail Location 0558, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558.
    Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, OH
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Published:December 24, 2022DOI:


      Grit is a personality trait that is defined as passion and perseverance for a long-term goal. Resilience is defined as the ability to recover or adjust to misfortune or change. The 2 concepts are inexorably intertwined. Surgery residents demonstrate higher average grit scores than the general population. Increased levels of grit predict success in many areas of life and are positively correlated with satisfaction in surgery residency. Decreased levels of grit correlate with burnout, attrition, and suicidality in resident surgeons. Personal grittiness can be increased by a focused interest in an area, deliberate goal-directed practice, finding a calling in life, and cultivating hope and resilience. Resilience, like grit, can be nurtured over time with deliberate steps. Grit and resilience are important in residency training, and training programs can be tailored to promote a wise environment, with demanding, yet supportive, departments. Organizational grit can be boosted by seeking to maximize successful attributes of dynamic organizations.
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