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90th Annual Meeting Abstracts

Surgical Resident Perceptions of Trauma Surgery as a Specialty
*Lejla Hadzikadic Gusic, MD, MS1, Peter A Burke, MD1, *Thomas J Esposito, MD, MPH2, Suresh Agarwal, MD1
1Boston Univ Medical Center, Boston, MA;2Loyola University Medical Center, Seattle, WA

Objective: Our study aim is to present the opinions of surgical residents on trauma appeal and training with the goal of influencing current reform.
Design: 22-item questionnaire.
Setting: General community hospitals to level I, II, and III institutional, academic, urban and rural, trauma centers.
Participants: General surgery residents registered with the American College of Surgeons, from PGY 1 to 5 levels including recent graduates.
Interventions: Survey distribution and collection.
Main Outcome Measures: Opinions of surgical residents.
Results: Of 6006 mailed surveys, we had a 20% response rate. Mid-level residents composed the majority of respondents and most were undecided or plan to enter general surgical private practice. The typical program represented was an academic (82%), urban (91%), Level I trauma center (79%) with greater than six months of trauma experience during residency (78%). The majority (71%) of surgical residents felt that trauma was unappealing. The most important deterrents from entering the field were lifestyle, poor reimbursement, and limited operating room exposure, while increased surgical critical care was not a disincentive. When questioned about the future, they believe that trauma surgeons should perform elective (87%) and non-trauma emergency cases (92%), and would benefit from an outpatient clinic (76%). Intellectual challenge and exciting nature of the field were listed as the most appealing aspects and ideal practice characteristics included a guaranteed salary and time away from work.
Conclusions: As demand for trauma surgeons increases, interest from residents has dwindled. Trauma surgery must undergo changes that reflect the needs of the incoming generation. We present a sampling of current resident opinion and offer this data in assistance to the changing discipline and the evolving field of acute care surgery.


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