C2A - 09: INTEGRATED THORACIC RESIDENTS: PART OF THE FAMILY OR THE UGLY DUCKLING?
Charles Keilin1, Rishindra M Reddy2, Niki Matusko2, Gurjit Sandhu2; 1University of Michigan Medical School, 2Michigan Medicine, Department of Surgery
Purpose: Integrated thoracic surgery residency (I6) programs began in 2007 to attract more trainees to thoracic surgery. Similar to other integrated programs, I6 curricula include broad general surgery (GS) requirements. We aim to better understand GS faculty and resident perceptions of I6 residents.
Methods: An anonymous, web-based survey was developed and distributed to GS faculty and residents at the 16 institutions with integrated programs in plastic, vascular and thoracic surgery. Respondents were asked about their perceptions of I6 residents. Descriptive statistics, Fisher exact test and qualitative content analysis of free text responses were used to analyze the data.
Results: 43 faculty and 42 residents representing 3 programs completed the survey. The response rates are estimated at 36.1% and 24.6% for faculty and residents, respectively. 72.1% of faculty indicated that GS rotations are valuable for I6 residents. 70% of faculty believe I6 residents put a lot of effort into their GS rotations, while 50% of GS residents feel I6 residents put less effort into GS (p = 0.078). When assessing for qualitative themes arising from commentary, GS residents believe I6 residents are not as committed to GS, which can interfere with their educational experiences. Specific residents’ responses include: “Not always invested in the patient care. Sometimes just there to check a box,” and “They are nice people but they take our cases and negatively impact my experience.” 95.4% of GS faculty say they hold all residents equally accountable; conversely, only 52.4% of GS residents agree (p < 0.01). Qualitative analysis of responses corroborates this perception: “They sometimes get the short end of the stick, either [because] of assignments by the chief, lack of initiative on the part of the resident, or both.” Finally, 69.8% of faculty believe they treat all residents the same, while 45.2% of residents feel there is bias (p = 0.078).
Conclusions: The advent of the I6 program has affected both thoracic and GS training. There are notable differences in how GS faculty and residents perceive their interactions with I6 residents. It is necessary to further explore these interactions to optimize the educational experience for all.