Minimally invasive surgery fellowship graduates: Their demographics, practice patterns, and contributions

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Fellowship opportunities in minimally invasive surgery, bariatric, gastrointestinal, and hepatobiliary arose to address unmet training needs. The large cohort of non-Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education -accredited fellowship graduates (NACGMEG) has been difficult to track. In this, the largest survey of graduates to date, our goal was to characterize this unique group's demographics and professional activities.

Study design.

A total of 580 NACGMEG were surveyed covering 150 data points: demographics, practice patterns, academics, lifestyle, leadership, and maintenance of certification.


Of 580 previous fellows, 234 responded. Demographics included: average age 37 years, 84% male, 75% in urban settings, 49% in purely academic practice, and 58% in practice <5 years. They averaged 337 operating room cases/year (approximately 400/year for private practice vs 300/year for academic). NACGMEG averaged 100 flexible endoscopies/year (61 esophagogastroduodenoscopies, 39 colon). In the past 24 months, 60% had submitted abstracts to a national meeting, and 54% submitted manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals. Subset analyses revealed relevant relationships. There was high satisfaction (98%) that their fellowship experience met expectations; 78% termed their fellowships, versus 50% for residencies, highly pertinent to their current practices. 63% of previous fellows occupy local leadership roles, and most engage in maintenance of certification activities.


Fellowship alumnae appear to be productive contributors to American surgery. They are clinically and academically active, believe endoscopy is important, have adopted continuous learning, and most assume work leadership roles. The majority acknowledge their fellowship training as having met expectations and uniquely equipping them for their current practice.

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