The Future of the Academic Cardiothoracic Surgeon: Results of the TSRA/TSDA In-Training Examination Survey.

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The Annals of thoracic surgery

MeSH Headings

Career Choice, Female, Humans, Internship and Residency, Male, Societies, Medical, Specialties, Surgical, Surveys and Questionnaires, Thoracic Surgery, United States


BACKGROUND: Traditionally cardiothoracic residents spent dedicated research time during general surgery equipping them for a potential academic career. Recent changes in training paradigms, including integrated programs that may not include research time, could affect the development of future academic cardiothoracic surgeons.

METHODS: Responses to the 2015 Thoracic Surgery Directors' Association/Thoracic Surgery Residents' Association survey accompanying the in-training examination taken by current cardiothoracic surgery residents were analyzed. Three hundred fifty-four residents were surveyed with a response rate of 100%, although one was excluded from the analysis because of inconsistencies in responses. Statistical analysis included χ(2), Fisher's exact test, and multinomial logistic regression with significance set at a probability value of 0.05.

RESULTS: Two hundred sixty-seven of 353 residents (76%) intended on performing research as part of their careers. Integrated residents as opposed to traditional residents (85% versus 69%; p = 0.003), males (78% versus 65%; p = 0.02), those pursuing additional training (85% versus 69%; p = 0.003), and those interested in academic careers (93% versus 33%; p < 0.001) were more likely to pursue research. Differences were also noted in specialty interest, with congenital and heart failure specialties most likely to pursue research careers (92% and 100%, respectively; p < 0.05). Residents intending on research careers were more likely to have had previous research experience, and the most common type of intended research was clinical outcomes (78%). On multinomial logistic regression, previous clinical outcomes research and academic practice were identified as predictors of a research career (odd ratios of 9.7 and 4.1, respectively; each p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of residents plan on pursuing research during their careers. Previous research experience appears to be a key determinant as well as specialty interest.



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