Objective Integrated 6-year cardiothoracic surgical residency programs have recently been implemented in the United States. We report the results of the first published nationwide survey assessing the motivations, satisfaction, and ambitions of integrated 6-year residents. Methods A 63-question web-based survey was distributed to 83 residents enrolled in 21 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited integrated 6-year programs in November 2013. There was an outstanding 69% response rate. Results The median age of integrated 6-year residents was 29 years with women comprising 24%. A clear majority had faculty mentorship (95%) and significant clinical exposure in medical school. Focused (100%) and abbreviated (74%) training curricula were identified as the top advantages of integrated 6-year programs; the format itself was a significant factor (46%) in career choice. Most integrated 6-year residents (95%) were satisfied with their program; 80.7% were satisfied with their operative experience thus far. Career plans skewed toward adult cardiac surgery (67%), followed by pediatric cardiac (24%) and general thoracic (9%) surgery; 49% were not particularly concerned about future employment, with 65% foreseeing an increase in opportunities. Specialized training (eg, aortic, heart failure, minimally invasive, congenital) was anticipated by 77%. Most integrated 6-year residents envision an academic career (94.7%). Conclusions This survey takes an important snapshot of the nascent integrated 6-year format. Mentorship and intense clinical exposure are critical in attracting applicants. Purported advantages of the format are holding true among integrated 6-year residents, with the majority satisfied with their programs. These early data indicate that this format holds significant promise in attracting and retaining highly qualified trainees to academic cardiothoracic surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine