3 in 10 Surgery Residents Need Remediation

Cheryl Clark, September 18, 2012

California's medical schools may be inadequately preparing future surgeons because a high proportion—nearly one in three— require remediation programs, including having to repeat a year of training, according to a report in the Archives of Surgery.

The research paper finds that 31% of 348 general surgery residents in six California medical schools required additional studies or attendance at conferences or had to repeat a clinical year.

While 15% of the residents in the study cohort were lost to attrition, nearly all left voluntarily, however, and that 15% is somewhat lower than in other studies of surgical residency programs.

"The take-home message is in some respects a positive one in that yes, the rate of remediation is high," says senior author Christian de Virgilio, MD, "but if you look at when this occurred, most residents required it in their first or second year out of five, and by identifying this and putting them in a remediation plan, we were able to successfully get them to graduate. In addition, most of them were able to pass their boards on their first attempt."


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