Perception of Transplant Surgery and the Pursuit of a Career in Transplant Surgery Among US General Surgery Residents

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

Am J Transplant


Background: A recent report by the ASTS Pipeline Taskforce demonstrated that United States (US)-trained general surgery residents are less likely to pursue transplant surgery. We aimed to describe resident perceptions about their transplant surgery experience and factors influencing transplant surgery as a career.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using an anonymous survey composed of multiple choice, closed yes/no, and Likert scale questions. The survey was sent to US general surgery program directors soliciting internal distribution to residents from June to July 2021.

Results: A total of 192 surveys were returned from 255 programs. 38% of residents indicated interest in a transplant surgery career or fellowship. Greater than half (59%) answered they were satisfied with operative experience during their transplant rotation, and most (69%) believed transplant surgery attendings had job satisfaction. Rotation factors associated with greater interest in a transplant surgery career included perceived attending and fellow career satisfaction, experience (operative, rounding, teaching) satisfaction, perception of team role importance, identification of an attending mentor, and possible fellowship at home institution (Table 1, Figure 1). Residents with a higher number of surgeries scrubbed and proportion of cases scrubbed as a junior surgeon were more likely to report greater operative satisfaction.

Conclusion: In our study, US-trained general surgery residents demonstrated low interest in transplant surgery as a career. Improving the resident transplant rotation experience and the perception of transplant surgery attending satisfaction may improve the transplant pipeline.





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