Background: Limited information is available concerning the congenital heart surgery workforce in North America. To obtain reliable data, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Workforce on Congenital Heart Surgery undertook a subspecialty focused survey. Methods: Preliminary research of websites and databases revealed a potential target group of 263 congenital heart surgeons, including 248 surgeons at 121 US centers and 15 at eight Canadian sites. Surveys were sent to these, plus any additional individuals who listed an interest in congenital or pediatric heart surgery on CTSNet or STS websites. Responders include active congenital heart surgeons, inactive, or retired surgeons, adult cardiac surgeons, and surgeons in training. Analysis is based exclusively on the responses of 217 active congenital heart surgeons (>80% of target). Results: Average age was 48.3 ± 8.3 years (range, 33 to 78). Ten were female (5%), 207 male (95%). American Medical School graduates were 170 (79%), with 9.2 ± 1.6 years of postgraduate training. Eighty-five percent are Thoracic Board certified. Congenital heart surgery training outside the United States or Canada was obtained by 29 (14%). One hundred twenty-eight (59%) do exclusively congenital heart surgery. One third perform fewer than 100 congenital cases per year, one third perform 100 to 199, and one third perform 200 or more. Congenital heart surgeons have been in their current positions for 9.5 ± 8.2 years. Eleven are in their first year of practice. Mean anticipated years to retirement is 15.7 ± 7.5 (range, 1 to 34). Three anticipate retirement within 1 year. At the same time, 39 fellows will complete postgraduate training at 28 centers this year, and 19 will seek positions in North America. Conclusions: These data should help to facilitate rational plans to meet manpower needs, including evolving policies concerning training and certification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine