Background: With the impending shortage of cardiothoracic (CT)surgeons, much focus has been on increasing trainee interest, particularly at the medical student level. We aimed to determine the effect of participation in our Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group (CTSIG)on medical student attitudes regarding surgery, and especially CT surgery. Methods: An anonymous survey was administered at two time points to the current member list of our 2015 to 2016 CTSIG and repeated for the 2016 to 2017 academic year. A set CTSIG event schedule was developed with current CT faculty and included events every 1 to 2 months. Total CTSIG membership was 101 students. Descriptive analysis was performed on quantitative data. Results: Of 73 preclinical students completing both pre/postsurveys, 62% (45)were male. Postsurveys demonstrated increased interest in surgery and CT surgery as a career, which was significantly greater than those reporting no change (p < 0.01 for both). Common factors mentioned as deterrents for a CT surgery career included lifestyle, length of training, and associated personality/culture. Events hosted by the CTSIG most frequently reported as increasing interest included lunches/dinners with CT surgery faculty (89%), a “Leadership in Surgery” event (58%), and an “Intro to CT Surgery and Q/A Session” hosted by a CT surgeon (51%). Conclusions: Establishing a CTSIG that includes preset events with exposure to CT surgery by shadowing and interaction with faculty in a relaxed setting has the ability to increase preclinical interest in CT surgery. More emphasis on advocacy is needed to clear up misconceptions about CT surgery to maintain recruitment of outstanding students in our CT surgery heritage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine