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Transition from Chief Residency to Specialty Training: Issues and Solutions

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Three fourths of chief residents in general surgery receive further specialty training. The end to start-of-year transition can create administrative conflicts between the residency and the specialty training program. An Internet-based questionnaire surveyed general surgery and surgical specialty program directors to define issues and possible solutions associated with end to start-of-year transitions using a Likert scale. There was an overall response rate of 17.5 per cent, 19.6 per cent among general surgery directors, and 15.8 per cent among specialty directors. Program directors in general surgery felt strongly that the transition is an administrative problem (P < 0.001). They opposed extra days off at the end of the chief resident year or ending in mid-June, which specialty directors favored (P < 0.001). Directors of specialty programs opposed starting the year 1 or 2 weeks after July 1, a solution that general surgery directors favored (P < 0.001). More agreement was reached on whether chief residents should take vacation week(s) at the end of the academic year, having all general surgery levels start in mid-June, and orientation programs in July for specialty trainees. Program directors acknowledge that year-end scheduling transitions create administrative and patient care problems. Advancing the start of the training year in mid-June for all general surgery levels is a potential solution.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Georgia, USA 2: Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA 3: Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tulane School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 4: Surgery Residency Program, the Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 5: Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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