Objective The recently implemented integrated 6-year (I-6) format represents a significant change in cardiothoracic surgical residency training. We report the results of the first nationwide survey assessing I-6 program directors' impressions of this new format. Methods A 28-question web-based survey was distributed to program directors of all 24 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited I-6 training programs in November 2013. The response rate was a robust 67%. Results Compared with graduates of traditional residencies, most I-6 program directors with enrolled residents believed that their graduates will be better trained (67%), be better prepared for new technological advances (67%), and have superior comprehension of cardiothoracic disease processes (83%). Just as with traditional program graduates, most respondents believed their I-6 graduates would be able to independently perform routine adult cardiac and general thoracic operations (75%) and were equivocal on whether additional specialty training (eg, minimally invasive, heart failure, aortic) was necessary. Most respondents did not believe that less general surgical training disadvantaged I-6 residents in terms of their career (83%); 67% of respondents would have chosen the I-6 format for themselves if given the choice. The greater challenges in training less mature and experienced trainees and vulnerability to attrition were noted as disadvantages of the I-6 format. Most respondents believed that I-6 programs represent a natural evolution toward improved residency training rather than a response to declining interest among medical school graduates. Conclusions High satisfaction rates with the I-6 format were prevalent among I-6 program directors. However, concerns with respect to training relatively less experienced, mature trainees were evident.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine