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Work in Progress Seminar: Dr. Elaine Cheung

Elaine Cheung, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago


Dr. Elaine Cheung is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University. She received a BSc in Human Development from Cornell University and an MSc/PhD in Social Psychology from Northwestern University. Dr. Cheung also completed a National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Cheung’s research investigates the factors that promote psychological adjustment and empathy in the context of stress, as well as the development and implementation of psychosocial interventions for people coping with serious life stress. Her current research program centers on the following three areas: 1) the development of burnout prevention interventions for physicians and physician trainees, 2) how positive psychological interventions can buffer stress across a range of types of health-related stress, and 3) the predictors and consequences of stress-related growth in couples after a major life event.

Characterizing Emotion, Burnout, Thoughts of Attrition, and Suicidal Ideation in a National Survey of Surgical Residents in the U.S.

Burnout is prevalent among physicians and medical trainees and can have adverse consequences for physicians’ mental and physical health, attrition, and patient care. Most prior research on burnout has been plagued by high non-response bias, small sample sizes, and inconsistent measurement and definitions of burnout. Recent advances in psychology suggests that emotions may provide a useful marker of physician well-being, and may be provide a promising target for intervention. The current study uses a national sample of general surgery residents in the U.S. (N = 7395, 99.4% response rate) to characterize the emotional lives of surgical residents, and the unique correlates of specific emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, happiness) on burnout, attrition, and suicidal ideation. Implications for the measurement of physician burnout and well-being will be discussed.

Work in Progress (WiP) presentations take place at St. Paul’s Hospital in the Hurlburt Auditorium on alternating Wednesdays from 12:00–1:00 PM. These seminars provide investigators with an opportunity to present ongoing research, obtain feedback from colleagues and peers, and make new connections for their projects. Talks are open, and a light lunch is served.

View the 2018–2019 WiP schedule.



Upcoming Events

Putting Patients First 2019: Working Together Across the Research Life Cycle
Nov 20 all-day

Putting Patients First is the annual conference of the BC SUPPORT Unit, designed to encourage learning and collaboration between patients interested in patient-oriented research (POR), health researchers, health care providers and health system decision makers.

Find out why this conference is important to patients, researchers, decision-makers and health care providers, the conference goals, and learning objectives.

Health research in the heart of Vancouver