Attitudes, Training Experiences and Professional Expectations of US General Surgery Residents

A National Survey

Male general surgery residents are more likely than female residents to agree that good financial compensation motivated them to pursue a surgical career.

This report presents data from the National Study of Expectations and Attitudes of Residents in Surgery (NEARS). NEARS will help researchers gain insight into pressures facing residents and factors that contribute to attrition. General surgery residents responding to the survey (82.4%), represented 248 of the 249 training programs that administered NEARS in 2008. Researchers developed the survey from interviews with former residents who discontinued their training. Residents indicated their level of agreement, on a 5-point scale, with 52 separate statements touching on a range of residency training issues. Topics include: faculty support, expected financial compensation and stress on family life.

Key Findings:

  • Residents are more likely to turn to fellow residents than ask faculty for help when facing difficulties.
  • Residents in graduate years two and three express the lowest levels of satisfaction with their training programs.
  • Male residents are more likely than female residents to feel their program provides someone to turn to when they were struggling.

This is an ongoing study and will continue in 2010. NEARS provides a comprehensive assessment of the attitudes and concerns of general surgery residents in the U.S.