Are surgeons happy in practice? Examining a quarter-century of Alberta’s surgical graduates

Are surgeons happy in practice? Examining a quarter-century of Alberta’s surgical graduates

Can J Surg 2015;58(5):296-298 | PDF

Cassidy Frayn, BSc; Valerie Masson, BSc; Shannon Erichsen; Jonathan White, MB, BMedSci, MSc, PhD

Summary

Every year, hundreds of new surgeons graduate from residency programs across Canada. Much time and effort is spent on preparing these surgeons for independent practice, but there is little literature about the career trajectories of surgeons after they finish training and enter practice. We surveyed all surgeons graduating from the residency programs of a single Canadian medical school over 25 years (1985–2010). Most respondents rated their job satisfaction as high/very high and indicated they would still pursue a residency in surgery and/or their specialty if they had it to do over again. This commentary discusses important information about where our graduates go and what their careers are like, challenging existing stereotypes about careers in surgery. Our survey findings should be communicated to students interested in careers in surgery.


Accepted for publication Apr. 7, 2015

Affiliations: All authors are from the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.

Acknowledgements: The authors thank Tracy Berryman, Kat Pederson and Karee Moffatt for administrative support, Dr. Bin Zheng for his assistance with survey design, and the Surgery 101 summer students for their assistance.

Funding: Sources of support for this project were the Tom Williams Endowed Chair in Surgical Education, University of Alberta Health Professions Education Summer Studentship, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: All authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this commentary and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.002415

Correspondence to: J. White, 202 Community Services Centre, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, AB, T5H 3V9; jswhite1@ualberta.ca