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Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Aug;92(2):762-8; discussion 768-9. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.03.133.

Report of the 2010 society of thoracic surgeons congenital heart surgery practice and manpower survey.

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Department of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.



The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Workforce on Congenital Heart Surgery undertook a second subspecialty Practice and Manpower Survey (2005, 2010) to obtain contemporary data.


Preliminary research suggested a potential target group of 273 congenital heart surgeons, including 258 at 125 US centers and 15 at 8 Canadian centers. The web-based survey was sent to these surgeons, plus all individuals listing pediatric cardiac surgery on CTSNet.


Two hundred forty-six responders included 213 active congenital heart surgeons, 16 retired congenital heart surgeons, and 17 surgeons in training. Retirement age was 63.5±7.5 years. Two hundred thirteen active congenital heart surgeon responders represent 78% of the original estimate. Their responses generated the following data: The mean age was 49.2±8.5 (range, 35 to 75 years). American medical school graduates included 159 of 201 respondents (79%). Years of postgraduate training was 9.7±1.7. One hundred ninety-seven (92%) respondents were certified in thoracic surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS). Twenty-eight of 200 (14%) received their congenital heart surgery training outside the United States or Canada. One hundred forty-three of 190 respondents (75%) perform exclusively congenital heart operations; 31 (16%) perform exclusively pediatric heart operations. Of 186 respondents, 54 (29%) perform fewer than 100 major congenital heart operations per year, 78 (42%) perform 100 to 199 procedures, and 54 (29%) perform 200 procedures or more. Active congenital heart surgeons have been in their current positions for 9.3±8.6 years. Eight respondents are in their first year of practice. For 203 respondents, mean anticipated years to retirement is 16.1±7.6. Twenty-eight anticipate retirement within 5 years; 31 in 6 to 10 years.


These data should help facilitate rational plans to meet workforce needs for an expanding patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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