Update on Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident Job Opportunities

David T. Cooke, Faraz Kerendi, Brett A. Mettler, Daniel J. Boffa, John R. Mehall, Walter H. Merrill, Robert S.D. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Concerns regarding ample employment opportunities for graduating cardiothoracic surgery residents may affect perceptions of the field and recruitment into residency programs. We present the results of the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association/Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSRA/TSDA) 2008 Resident Survey, and compare them with the 2007 TSRA/TSDA survey and the 2006 interim report of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Task Force on Job Opportunities. Methods: In April 2008, the TSRA/TSDA conducted an anonymous survey, linked to the cardiothoracic surgery resident online In-training Exam, with questions germane to resident job seeking and perceptions of the specialty. Results were compared with resident surveys from 2007 and 2006. Results: Response rates for the 2008 and 2007 surveys were 100%, and 54.2% for 2006. Of graduating residents looking for employment, 61.6% had one or more job offers, compared with 64.6% and 83.5% from the 2007 and 2006 surveys, respectively. Of the respondents completing their job search, 24.5% entered private practice and 26.3% academia, compared with 12.1% and 30.1%, respectively, in the 2007 survey. Overall, 57.7% of all respondents had more than $50,000 education-related debt, compared with 54.2% of 2007 respondents. However, 71.5% of all 2008 respondents would recommend cardiothoracic surgery to a potential trainee, compared with 63.7% and 46.0% from 2007 and 2006 survey respondents, respectively. Conclusions: The 2008 survey suggests that although the majority of respondents found employment on completing residency, the percentage is less than 65%, reinforcing a need for formal networking programs or changes in residency training. Despite continued limited employment opportunities, resident impressions of cardiothoracic surgery have improved from 2006 to 2008.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1853-1859
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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