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90th Annual Meeting Abstracts

Family and gender impact career goals: Results of a national survey of 4586 surgery residents
*Kate V Viola, M.D.1, *Emily Bucholz1, *Heather L Yeo, M.D.1, Richard H Bell, M.D.2, Julie Ann Sosa, M.D.1
1Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT;2American Board of Surgery, Philadelphia, PA

Objective: To determine how marriage, children, and gender influence U.S. categorical general surgery residents’ perceptions of their profession and motivations for specialty training
Design: Cross-sectional national survey
Setting: Administered following the January 2008 ABSITE
Patients: All U.S. categorical general surgery residents
Interventions: Demographic characteristics were evaluated with respect to survey responses using chi-square, ANOVA, and multivariate logistic regression. Interaction terms between variables were assessed.
Main Outcome Measures: Respondents were asked about their perceptions regarding the future of general surgery and the role of specialty training in relation to anticipated income and lifestyle.
Results: Survey response rate was 77% (N=4586). Mean age was 31 years; 32% were female, 51% married, and 25% had children. 29% of respondents believed general surgery is becoming obsolete (30% of men, 26% of women, p<0.01); 55% felt specialty training is necessary for success (56% of men, 53% of women, p=0.02). Single residents and residents without children were more likely to plan for fellowship (59% single vs. 52% married; 57% no children vs. 50% with children, p<0.05). In our multivariate analyses, male gender was an independent predictor of worry that general surgery is becoming obsolete; male gender, being single, and having no children were independent predictors of believing that specialty training is necessary following residency (all p<0.05). Female residents who were single or without children tended to identify lifestyle rather than income as a motivator for specialty training.
Conclusions: Marital status, children, and gender appear to have a powerful effect on general surgery residents’ career planning. Residency and fellowship programs must consider these important factors as they revise graduate surgical education to reflect the changing needs of the surgical workforce.


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