Perceptions of Readiness for Practice After Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship: A Survey Study. Annals of surgical oncology Behrens, S., Lillemoe, H. A., Dineen, S. P., Russell, M. C., Visser, B., Berman, R. S., Farma, J. M., Grubbs, E., Davis, J. L. 2023


BACKGROUND: Surgical subspecialty training aims to meet the needs of practicing surgeons and their communities. This study investigates career preparedness of Complex General Surgical Oncology (CGSO) fellowship graduates, identifies factors associated with practice readiness, and explores potential opportunities to improve the current training model.METHODS: The Society of Surgical Oncology partnered with the National Cancer Institute to conduct a 36-question survey of CGSO fellowship graduates from 2012 to 2022.RESULTS: The overall survey response rate was 38% (221/582) with a slight male predominance (63%). Forty-six percent of respondents completed their fellowship after 2019. Factors influencing fellowship program selection include breadth of cancer case exposure (82%), mentor influence (66%), and research opportunities (38%). Overall, graduates reported preparedness for practice; however, some reported unpreparedness in research (18%) and in specific clinical areas: thoracic (43%), hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) (15%), and hepato-pancreato-biliary (15%) surgery. Regarding technical preparedness, 70% reported being "very prepared". Respondents indicated lack of preparedness in robotic (63%) and laparoscopic (33%) surgery approaches. Suggestions for training improvement included increased autonomy and case volumes, program development, and research infrastructure. Current practice patterns by graduates demonstrated discrepancies between ideal contracts and actual practice breakdowns, particularly related to the practice of general surgery.CONCLUSIONS: This study of CGSO fellowship graduates demonstrates potential gaps between trainee expectations and the realities of surgical oncology practice. Although CGSO fellowship appears to prepare surgeons for careers in surgical oncology, there may be opportunities to refine the training model to better align with the needs of practicing surgical oncologists.

View details for DOI 10.1245/s10434-023-14524-x

View details for PubMedID 37936022