The future of surgery: Today's residents speak Article

Breen, E, Irani, JL, Mello, MM et al. (2005). The future of surgery: Today's residents speak . 62(5), 543-546. 10.1016/j.cursur.2005.05.002

cited authors

  • Breen, E; Irani, JL; Mello, MM; Whang, EE; Zinner, MJ; Ashley, SW



  • Introduction: New Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) resident duty hour requirements were implemented in July 2003. A recent study suggests that these requirements have resulted in substantial work-hour reductions and improvements in quality of life for general surgery residents. The impact of these changes on the culture of surgery and attitudes about future practice patterns among current surgical residents is unknown. Objective: To characterize future practice patterns desired by the current generation of general surgery residents. Methods: A confidential survey was administered to all residents enrolled in 21 general surgery residency programs in New England (n = 668). Results: Completed responses were received from 238 residents. Three quarters of the respondents wish to limit their practice to a subspecialty, and two thirds wish to work 60 hours or less per week as attending surgeons. About one quarter find a job-sharing arrangement desirable. Seventy-one percent report that being on-call for their patients at all times with no night or weekend cross-coverage would be undesirable. Over 90% desire sharing on-call responsibilities with members of a group. Over one quarter would feel comfortable allowing cross-covering colleagues to manage their operative complications routinely, including reoperation. Over one quarter would pass off a scheduled operation that was delayed into the night or weekend. Conclusions: The current surgical residents desire practice patterns that substantially differ from those of today's surgeons. To the extent that these attitudes spring from changes in resident working conditions wrought by the ACGME duty hour requirements, these requirements have the potential to change the nature of surgical practice in this country. © 2005 by the Association of Program Directors in Surgery.

publication date

  • September 1, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 543

end page

  • 546


  • 62


  • 5