Background After approval by the Thoracic Surgery Residency Review Committee in 2007, 6-year integrated cardiothoracic surgery (I-6) residency programs have gained in popularity. We sought to assess and objectively quantify the level of satisfaction I-6 residents have with their training and to identify areas of improvement for future curriculum development. Methods A completely anonymous, electronic survey was created by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association that asked the responders to provide demographic information, specialty interest, and lifestyle priorities, and to rate their experience and satisfaction with I-6 residency. The survey was distributed nationwide to all residents in I-6 programs approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Results Of a total of 88 eligible I-6 residents, 49 completed the survey (55.7%). Career choice satisfaction was high (75.5%), as was overall satisfaction with integrated training (83.7%). The majority (77.6%) were interested in cardiac surgery. Overall, the responders reported sufficient time for life outside of the hospital (57.1%), but experienced conflicts between work obligations and personal life at least sometimes (75.5%). Early exposure to cardiothoracic surgery was reported as the dominant advantage of the I-6 model, whereas variable curriculum structure and unclear expectations along with poor integration with general surgery training ranked highest among perceived disadvantages. Conclusions Current I-6 residents are largely satisfied with the integrated training model and report a reasonable work/life balance. The focused nature of training is the primary perceived advantage of the integrated pathway. Curriculum variability and poor integration with general surgery training are identified by residents as primary areas of concern.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine