Supply versus demand: a review of application trends to Canadian surgical training programs

Supply versus demand: a review of application trends to Canadian surgical training programs

Can J Surg 2015;58(2):143-144 | PDF | Appendix

Ryan E. Austin, MD; Kyle R. Wanzel, MD, MEd

Summary

Despite increases in medical school enrolment, applications to surgical residency programs in Canada have been in decline over the past decade, with an increasing number of unmatched surgical residency positions. We examined the current status of surgical residency in Canada and analyzed application trends (2002–2013) for surgical training programs across Canada. Our findings suggest that most undergraduate medical schools across Canada are having difficulty fostering interest in surgical careers. We propose that a lack of adequate early exposure to the surgical specialties during undergraduate training is a critical factor. Moving forward, we must examine how the best-performing institutions and surgical programs have maintained interest in pursuing surgical careers and adapt our recruitment methods to both maintain and grow future interest. As Mary Engelbreit said, “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”


Accepted for publication Aug. 25, 2014

Affiliations: Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada (Austin, Wanzel), and the Division of Plastic Surgery, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada (Wanzel).

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: Both authors contributed substantially to writing and/or revising and to the conception and design of the manuscript and approved the final version submitted for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.006614

Correspondence to: Dr. R.E. Austin, 149 College St., 5th Floor, Toronto, ON,
M5T 1P5; ry.austin@mail.utoronto.ca