Comparison of the integrated vascular surgery resident operative experience and the traditional vascular surgery fellowship

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After almost 10 years since its approval, residents in integrated vascular surgery training programs now outnumber traditional vascular fellows. We examined the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) case log data to assess whether there is a difference in operative experience between the graduating integrated residents and vascular fellows.


We analyzed the total clinical experience of vascular surgery trainees during the academic years between 2012 and 2014 for the 30 graduated integrated vascular surgery residents (VSRs) and the 243 graduated vascular surgery fellows (VSFs). Data were compared on the basis of reported categories defined by the ACGME operation reporting system. VSR case totals were calculated by combining “surgeon chief,” “surgeon junior,” and “secondary procedures” categories. VSF “surgeon fellow” and “secondary procedures” case totals were combined with all vascular cases done in general surgery residency (using averages of general surgery resident ACGME case log data from the same years) to reflect their total vascular experience.


The average total vascular experience reported by VSRs was 1446.0 compared with 1421.8 for VSFs (P = .2086). VSRs performed 694.7 major vascular procedures on average compared with 616.3 major cases for VSFs (P = .0106). Highlighted comparisons include the following: open aortic aneurysm cases, VSRs 20.6 and VSFs 22.2 (P = .320); endovascular aortic aneurysm cases, VSRs 80.0 and VSFs 80.6 (P = .945); cerebrovascular cases, VSRs 78.8 and VSFs 85.0 (P = .1132); and peripheral obstructive cases, VSRs 343.6 and VSFs 293.4 (P = .0032).


Integrated VSRs and traditional VSFs graduate with comparable overall vascular surgery clinical experience. VSRs reported, on average, a significantly higher number of major vascular procedures during their tenure as trainees as well as a significantly increased number of cases in six of the other ACGME categories.

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