A comparison of research experience, fellowship training, and ultimate practice patterns of general surgery graduates at a university-based surgical residency program. Research experience correlated with pursuing fellowship training and predicted an eventual academic career. More recently, graduates have been able to obtain fellowships without a dedicated research year, perhaps reflecting shifting fellowship training opportunities. Background We hypothesized that the relationships among dedicated research experience during residency, fellowship training, and career choices is changing as research and fellowship opportunities evolve. Methods Comparison of research experience, fellowship training, and ultimate practice patterns of general surgery graduates for 2 decades (1990-1999, n = 82; 2000-2009, n = 98) at a university-based residency program. Main outcome measures were number of years and area of research, fellowship training, and practice setting. Results Compared by decade, graduates became increasingly fellowship-trained (51.2% vs 67.3%; p < 0.05) and pursuit of fellowship training increased for both research and nonresearch participating graduates. The number of residents completing more than 1 year of research doubled (9.8% vs 22.4%, p < 0.05). By decade, the percentage of female graduates increased significantly (22% vs 41%, p = 0.005), with more women participating in dedicated research (17% vs 51%, p < 0.001) and seeking fellowships. The number of graduates going into specialty practice and academic/clinical faculty positions increased over time. Conclusions Surgical residents have completed more dedicated research years and became increasingly fellowship-trained over time. The proportion of female graduates has increased with similar increases in research time and fellowship training in this subgroup. In the earlier decade, dedicated research experiences during surgical residency correlated with pursuing fellowship training, and predicted an eventual academic career. More recently, graduates have obtained fellowships and academic positions without dedicated research time, perhaps reflecting shifting fellowship opportunities.
- career choices
- general surgery residency training programs
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