Background: Surgical training is constantly adapting to better prepare trainees for an evolving landscape of surgical practice. Training in vascular surgery additionally underwent a paradigm shift with the introduction of the integrated training pathway now more than a decade ago. With this study, we sought to characterize the needs and goals of our current vascular surgery trainee population. Methods: The Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery Issues Committee compiled a survey to assess demographics, current needs, and goals of trainees and to evaluate trainee distress using a validated seven-item Physician Well-Being Index. The survey was distributed electronically to all current vascular surgery trainees and recent graduates in the academic years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, and responses were recorded anonymously. Results: During the 2 years of the survey, the response rate was 30% (n = 367/1196). The respondents were 55% (n = 202) integrated vascular residents and 45% (n = 165) vascular surgery fellows. In each year of the survey, 60% (n = 102/170) and 58% (n = 86/148) of trainees expressed a desire to pursue academics in their careers, whereas 37% (n = 63/174) and 35% (n = 53/152) indicated their program had structured academic development time (2016-2017 and 2017-2018, respectively). Fifty-five percent (n = 96/174) and 52% (n = 79/152) stated that the overall impact of collaborative learners was positive. More than 60% of respondents in both years of the survey indicated experiencing one or more symptoms of distress on a weekly basis. The frequency of distress was associated with older age and with the presence of an advanced degree in both years of the survey. Sex, level of training, presence of collaborative learners, and having protected research time were not associated with frequency of distress in either year of the survey. Conclusions: These results highlight an opportunity for programs to further evaluate the needs of their trainees for academic development during vascular surgery training to better accommodate trainees' career goals. Further investigation to identify modifiable risk factors for distress among vascular surgery trainees is warranted.
- Resident education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine