Personal Satisfaction and Mentorship Are Critical Factors for Today's Resident Surgeons to Seek Surgical Training

Lukish, Jeffrey; Cruess, David
November 2005
American Surgeon;Nov/2005, Vol. 71 Issue 11, p971
Academic Journal
The specific aim of this study was to summarize the viewpoints of the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) membership regarding current training and quality of life-related issues prior to implementation of the new duty-hour guidelines. The goal was to gain insight of the members that may be useful to recruit and guide the future training of surgical residents. An Internet-based survey was developed to evaluate the viewpoints of RAS-ACS. The survey was administered by Esurveymaker.com via the ACS Web page from 2000 to 2003. RAS-ACS member participation was voluntary and anonymous. Analyses were performed to determine the frequency of response for each survey item. Two hundred thirty-five members completed the survey representing 5 per cent of RAS-ACS. Eighty-four per cent were general surgery residents. Personal satisfaction (64%) and mentorship (49%) were top factors for respondents to pursue surgical training; discussion with colleagues and future income was less important. Forty-five per cent reported that job performance was their most important concern during residency. A rewarding surgical career and family life were ranked as the most important expectations. Eighty-six per cent reported that they were satisfied with their residency, and 66 per cent reported that work hours should be limited. Personal satisfaction and mentorship were critical factors for members of the RAS-ACS to seek surgical training. Although most of the members report that work hours should be limited, an overwhelming majority reports satisfaction with surgical training prior to institution of the new duty-hour guidelines. Further emphasis on mentorship and work-hour reform may be beneficial in recruiting medical students into surgical residencies.


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