Hypothesis: Graduated surgeons have differences in concerns when comparisons are made between fellows and practicing surgeons, practicing surgeons and residents, and male and female surgeons. Design and Setting: A survey was distributed to surgeons who graduated from 17 New England residency programs from 1993 to 1996, consisting of 9 demographic questions and 33 items coded on a Likert-type scale (with scores from 1 [least concerning] to 5 [most concerning]). Participants: Surgical fellows and practicing surgeons recently graduated from general surgical residency programs in New England who had participated in a previous study as residents. Intervention: Distribution and completion of the survey. Main Outcome Measure: Personal and career-oriented concerns of recently graduated surgical residents. Results: Personal issues continue to rank high for graduated residents, but the areas of greatest concern became more financially and career oriented. The top concerns of fellows were personal finances (mean score, 3.2), child rearing (mean score, 3.1), salary (mean score, 3.1), postponing family plans (mean score, 3.0), availability of role models (mean score, 2.9), and number of work hours (mean score, 2.8). The top concerns of practicing surgeons were salary (mean score, 3.2), personal finances (mean score, 3.1), number of referrals (mean score, 3.0), support for research (mean score, 2.7), child rearing (mean score, 2.7), and availability of role models (mean score, 2.7). Differences existed between men and women for child rearing, initiating personal relationships, maintaining personal relationships, maternity leave, and promotional advancement. Women were more concerned than men. Conclusions: Assistance with career planning and job selection during the residency years should be enhanced to diminish the concerns about financial issues and the availability of role models after graduation. Many of the concerns among male and female graduates are still reflective of larger societal expectations, but some, such as promotional advancement, may be attenuated through guidance and mentoring of residents before job selection.
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