First nationwide survey of US integrated 6-year cardiothoracic surgical residency program directors.
OBJECTIVE: The recently implemented integrated 6-year (I-6) format represents a significant change in cardiothoracic surgical residency training. We report the results of the first nationwide survey assessing I-6 program directors' impressions of this new format. METHODS: A 28-question web-based survey was distributed to program directors of all 24 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited I-6 training programs in November 2013. The response rate was a robust 67%. RESULTS: Compared with graduates of traditional residencies, most I-6 program directors with enrolled residents believed that their graduates will be better trained (67%), be better prepared for new technological advances (67%), and have superior comprehension of cardiothoracic disease processes (83%). Just as with traditional program graduates, most respondents believed their I-6 graduates would be able to independently perform routine adult cardiac and general thoracic operations (75%) and were equivocal on whether additional specialty training (eg, minimally invasive, heart failure, aortic) was necessary. Most respondents did not believe that less general surgical training disadvantaged I-6 residents in terms of their career (83%); 67% of respondents would have chosen the I-6 format for themselves if given the choice. The greater challenges in training less mature and experienced trainees and vulnerability to attrition were noted as disadvantages of the I-6 format. Most respondents believed that I-6 programs represent a natural evolution toward improved residency training rather than a response to declining interest among medical school graduates. CONCLUSIONS: High satisfaction rates with the I-6 format were prevalent among I-6 program directors. However, concerns with respect to training relatively less experienced, mature trainees were evident.
Lebastchi, AH; Tackett, JJ; Argenziano, M; Calhoon, JH; Gasparri, MG; Halkos, ME; Hicks, GL; Iannettoni, MD; Ikonomidis, JS; McCarthy, PM; Starnes, SL; Tong, BC; Yuh, DD
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