Perceptions and Attitudes of Critical Care Training and Careers Among United States Surgical Residents: Who Wants to be a Surgical Intensivist?

Cohn, Stephen M.; Price, Michelle A.; Stewart, Ronald M.; Pruitt Jr., Basil A.; Dent, Daniel L.
May 2007
American Surgeon;May2007, Vol. 73 Issue 5, p433
Academic Journal
Less than 50 per cent of surgical critical care (SCC) fellowship positions are filled each year. We surveyed senior surgical residents to determine their opinions regarding a career in SCC and acute care surgery. A survey was sent to 1348 postgraduate year 3, 4, and 5 residents in the United States. Two hundred fifty-one surveys were returned (19% response rate). Whereas 78 per cent were planning to complete a fellowship, 21 per cent expressed interest in SCC. Fifty-six per cent plan to handle SCC problems only for their own patients, whereas 39 per cent plan to turn this management over to a critical care provider. SCC fellowships were considered to be potentially more appealing if the following changes could be made to the existing structure: adding more general surgery (70% of respondents); adding more trauma experience (50%); adding emergency neurosurgery (44%); adding more emergency orthopedics (42%); or decreasing months of critical care (36%). Increasing salary enhanced appeal for 82 per cent. SCC has limited appeal for most senior surgical residents. Theoretical expansion of surgical critical fellowships to include more general or trauma surgery (acute care surgery) increased the level of interest among senior surgical residents.


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