Attrition from surgical residency training: perspectives from those who left.


Journal Article

High rates of attrition from general surgery residency may threaten the surgical workforce. We sought to gain further insight regarding resident motivations for leaving general surgery residency.We conducted in-depth interviews to generate rich narrative data that explored individual experiences. An interdisciplinary team used the constant comparative method to analyze the data.Four themes characterized experiences of our 19 interviewees who left their residency program. Participants (1) felt an informal contract was breached when clinical duties were prioritized over education, (2) characterized a culture in which there was no safe space to share personal and programmatic concerns, (3) expressed a scarcity of role models who demonstrated better work-life balance, and (4) reported negative interactions with authority resulting in a profound loss of commitment.As general surgery graduate education continues to evolve, our findings may inform interventions and policies regarding programmatic changes to boost retention in surgical residency.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Bongiovanni, T; Yeo, H; Sosa, JA; Yoo, PS; Long, T; Rosenthal, M; Berg, D; Curry, L; Nunez-Smith, M

Published Date

  • October 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 210 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 648 - 654

PubMed ID

  • 26238074

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26238074

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1883

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9610

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2015.05.014


  • eng