Dr Kate Viola and colleagues from Pennsylvania, USA determined how marriage, children, and gender influence US categorical general surgery residents' perceptions of their profession and motivations for specialty training.
The researchers desighned a cross-sectional national survey administered after the 2008 American board of surgery in-service training examination.
The survey was set in 248 US general surgery residency programs.
All US categorical general surgery residents participated.
The research team evaluated demographic characteristics with respect to survey responses using the 2 test, analysis of variance, and multivariate logistic regression.
Interaction terms between variables were assessed.
Perceptions of respondents regarding the future of general surgery and the role of specialty training in relation to anticipated income and lifestyle was the main outcome measures.
|29% believed general surgery is becoming obsolete|
|Archives of surgery|
The research team found that the survey response rate was 75%.
Mean age was 31 years, of which 32% were women, 51% were married, and 25% had children.
Of the respondents, 29% believed general surgery is becoming obsolete, and 55% believed specialty training is necessary for success.
Single residents and residents without children were more likely to plan for fellowship.
In their multivariate analyses, male gender was an independent predictor of worry that general surgery is becoming obsolete.
Female residents who were single or had no children tended to identify lifestyle rather than income as a motivator for specialty training.
Dr Viola's team concluded, "Marital status, children, and gender appear to have a powerful effect on general surgery residents' career planning."