Training and practice of the next generation HPB surgeon: analysis of the 2014 AHPBA residents' and fellows' symposium survey

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Hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery is a complex subspecialty drawing from varied training pools, and the need for competency is rapidly growing. However, no board certification process or standardized training metrics in HPB surgery exist in the Americas. This study aims to assess the attitudes of current trainees and HPB surgeons regarding the state of training, surgical practice and the HPB surgical job market in the Americas.

Study Design:

A 20-question survey was distributed to members of Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA) with a valid e-mail address who attended the 2014 AHPBA. Descriptive statistics were generated for both the aggregate survey responses and by training category.


There were 176 responses with evenly distributed training tracks; surgical oncology (44, 28%), transplant (39, 24.8%) and HPB (38, 24.2%). The remaining tracks were HPB/Complex gastrointestinal (GI) and HPB/minimally invasive surgery (MIS) (29, 16% and 7, 4%). 51.2% of respondents thought a dedicated HPB surgery fellowship would be the best way to train HPB surgeons, and 68.1% felt the optimal training period would be a 2-year clinical fellowship with research opportunities. This corresponded to the 67.5% of the practicing HPB surgeons who said they would prefer to attend an HPB fellowship for 2 years as well. Overall, most respondents indicated their ideal job description was clinical practice with the ability to engage in clinical and/or outcomes research (52.3%).


This survey has demonstrated that HPB surgery has many training routes and practice patterns in the Americas. It highlights the need for specialized HPB surgical training and career education. This survey shows that there are many ways to train in HPB. A 2-year HPB fellowship was felt to be the best way to train to prepare for a clinically active HPB practice with clinical and outcomes research focus.

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