A comprehensive national survey on thoughts of leaving residency, alternative career paths, and reasons for staying in general surgery training

Ryan J. Ellis, Amy L. Holmstrom, D. Brock Hewitt, Kathryn E. Engelhardt, Anthony D. Yang, Ryan P. Merkow, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Yue Yung Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: General surgery residencies continue to experience high levels of attrition. Methods: Survey of general surgery residents administered with the 2018 American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination. Outcomes were consideration of leaving residency, potential alternative career paths, and reasons for staying in residency. Results: Among 7,409 residents, 930 (12.6%) reported considering leaving residency over the last year. Residents were more likely to consider other general surgery programs (46.2%) if PGY 2/3 (OR: 1.93, 95%CI 1.34–2.77) or reporting frequent duty hour violations (OR: 1.58, 95%CI 1.12–2.24). Consideration of other specialties (47.0%) was more likely if dissatisfied with being a surgeon (OR 2.86, 95%CI 1.92–4.26). Residents were more likely to consider leaving medicine (49.7%) if female (OR: 1.54, 95%CI 1.16–2.06) or dissatisfied with a surgical career (OR: 2.81, 95%CI 1.85–4.27). Common reasons for remaining in residency included a sense of too much invested to leave (65.3%) and career satisfaction (55.5%). Conclusion: Profiles of trainees considering leaving residency exist based on factors associated with alternative careers. This may be a target for future interventions to reduce attrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Volume219
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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