Training general surgery residents in pediatric surgery: A Canadian survey
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BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: The training of general surgeons in pediatric surgery is an important educational role of pediatric surgeons (PS). The authored surveyed this training process and the related expectations and perceptions of competence. METHODS: The authors surveyed all practicing members of the Canadian Association of Paediatric Surgeons (CAPS) in Canada, all general surgery program directors (PD), and all final year general surgery residents (GS). Questions included exposure to pediatric surgery, expected and perceived competence in managing common pediatric general surgical problems, and trainee practice intentions. RESULTS: Response rate to date was 51% from PS, 69% from PD, and 19% from GS. Sixty-seven percent of PS considered the exposure to pediatric surgery satisfactory, yet only 1 of 7 residents planning on pursuing general surgery felt adequately prepared. Trainees were expected to be competent in the conditions polled by 65% of PS and 74% of PD, yet only 38% of the trainees actually felt competent in them. The largest discrepancies were found for infant hernia, newborn colostomy, and cryptorchidism. Presence of a fellowship program and size of training program had no impact on perceived competence. CONCLUSIONS: Training of general surgeons in pediatric surgery varies across Canadian programs. Perceived resident competence often lags behind program and faculty expectations. These data can be used for directing educational priorities in general surgery programs.
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