Will Future Surgeons Be Interested in Trauma Care? Results of a Resident Survey


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Abstract

Advanced-level general surgery residents were surveyed about their interest in providing trauma care upon completion of their residency training. Questionnaires were sent to 1,795 residents and 886 (49%) replied. Two thirds of the residents stated that trauma was a rewarding field, but only 18% wanted it as a career or as a major part of their practice. The interest in trauma fellowships was also very low. Disaffection with trauma care was predominant in the survey. Primary reasons for these negative feelings were the large amount of nonoperative care rendered in treating blunt trauma patients and the unsavory type of patients encountered with most penetrating trauma injuries. Lifestyle issues were important but were not rated as high as other factors. Complaints about the structure of current trauma rotations in many institutions and the negative impact of many trauma surgeons as role models were frequently cited as reasons for respondents not pursuing trauma care as a career interest.

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