Perception versus reality: elucidating motivation and expectations of current fellowship council minimally invasive surgery fellows
The aim of our study is to determine minimally invasive trainee motivation and expectations for their respective fellowship. Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is one of the largest non-ACGME post-residency training pathways though little is known concerning the process of residents choosing MIS as a fellowship focus. As general surgery evolves, it is important to understand resident motivation in order to better prepare them for a surgical career.
A survey invitation was sent to current trainees in the Minimally Invasive and related pathways through the Fellowship Council. The participants were asked to complete a web-based questionnaire detailing demographics, experiences preparing for fellowship, motivation in choosing an MIS fellowship, and expectations for surgical practice after fellowship.
Sixty-seven MIS trainees responded to the survey out of 151 invitations (44%). The Fellowship Council website, mentors, and other fellows were cited as the most helpful source of information when applying for fellowship. Trainees were active in surgical societies as residents, with 78% having membership in the ACS and 60% in SAGES. When deciding to pursue MIS as a fellowship, the desire to increase laparoscopic training was the most important factor. The least important reasons cited were lack of laparoendoscopic training in residency and desire to learn robotic surgery. The majority of trainees believed their laparoscopic skill set was above that of their residency cohort (81%). The most desired post-fellowship employment model is hospital employee (46%) followed by private practice (27%). Most fellows plan on marketing themselves as MIS surgeons (90%) or General Surgeons (78%) when in practice.
Residents who choose MIS as a fellowship have a strong exposure to laparoscopy and want to become specialists in their field. Mentors and surgical societies including ACS and SAGES play a vital role in preparing residents for fellowship and practice.
KeywordsMIS Fellow Fellowship council Minimally invasive surgery Survey
The authors would like to thank the Fellowship Council for its participation and access to the Minimally Invasive Fellows.
Compliance with ethical standards
Drs. Jeffrey R. Watkins, Aurora D. Pryor, Michael S. Truitt, and D. Rohan Jeyarajah have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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