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Am J Transplant. 2011 Feb;11(2):253-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03308.x.

Transplant surgery fellow perceptions about training and the ensuing job market-are the right number of surgeons being trained?

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1
Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA. david.reich@drexelmed.edu

Abstract

The American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) sought whether the right number of abdominal organ transplant surgeons are being trained in the United States. Data regarding fellowship training and the ensuing job market were obtained by surveying program directors and fellowship graduates from 2003 to 2005. Sixty-four ASTS-approved programs were surveyed, representing 139 fellowship positions in kidney, pancreas and/or liver transplantation. One-quarter of programs did not fill their positions. Forty-five fellows graduated annually. Most were male (86%), aged 31-35 years (57%), married (75%) and parents (62%). Upon graduation, 12% did not find transplant jobs (including 8% of Americans/Canadians), 14% did not get jobs for transplanting their preferred organ(s), 11% wished they focused more on transplantation and 27% changed jobs early. Half fellows were international medical graduates; 45% found US/Canadian transplant jobs, particularly 73% with US/Canadian residency training. Fellows reported adequate exposure to training volume, candidate selection, pre/postoperative care and organ procurement, but not to donor management/selection, outpatient care and core didactics. One-sixth noted insufficient 'mentoring/preparation for a transplantation career'. Currently, there seem to be enough trainees to fill entry-level positions. One-third program directors believe that there are too many trainees, given the current and foreseeable job market. ASTS is assessing the total workforce of transplant surgeons and evolving manpower needs.

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