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21.04.2018 | Original Article

The impact of junior surgical jobs in cardiothoracic surgery on career choice in the United Kingdom

Zeitschrift:
General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Autor:
Nathan Burnside

Abstract

Objectives

Cardiothoracic surgery is a small specialty, often with a limited presence on the undergraduate curriculum. In the past, there was a heavy reliance on postgraduate exposure to inform career choice. Recent changes in recruitment to the specialty in the United Kingdom may reduce exposure of the best trainees to the specialty, and reduce the quality of future surgeons. This study will evaluate the impact of junior surgical jobs on future career preferences.

Methods

We asked all 126 core surgical trainees in the Northern Ireland Deanery their surgical specialty preferences over 2 years. Trainees were asked for their first and second preferences on each occasion. In total 502 first and second preferences were declared. Past and present postings were then correlated with this information to see if working in a cardiothoracic unit impacted on specialty preference choices.

Results

Cardiothoracic surgery is the least popular of all the surgical specialties amongst junior surgical trainees (3.6%)—with general surgery, breast surgery, and orthopaedic surgery, drawing 53% of trainees. In trainees who had previously worked in cardiothoracic surgery, 75% expressed a wish to return to the specialty, making it the most dominant.

Conclusions

The role of junior surgical jobs in the specialty is immensely important on career choice. Moving to a more junior recruitment may exclude excellent candidates who have simply not experienced cardiothoracic surgery.

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