Perceptions and attitudes of critical care training and careers among United States surgical residents: Who wants to be a surgical intensivist?

Stephen M. Cohn, Michelle A. Price, Ronald M. Stewart, Basil A. Pruitt, Daniel L. Dent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Less than 50 per cent of surgical critical care (SCC) fellowship positions are filled each year. We surveyed senior surgical residents to determine their opinions regarding a career in SCC and acute care surgery. A survey was sent to 1348 postgraduate year 3, 4, and 5 residents in the United States. Two hundred fifty-one surveys were returned (19% response rate). Whereas 78 per cent were planning to complete a fellowship, 21 per cent expressed interest in SCC. Fifty-six per cent plan to handle SCC problems only for their own patients, whereas 39 per cent plan to turn this management over to a critical care provider. SCC fellowships were considered to be potentially more appealing if the following changes could be made to the existing structure: adding more general surgery (70% of respondents); adding more trauma experience (50%); adding emergency neurosurgery (44%); adding more emergency orthopedics (42%); or decreasing months of critical care (36%). Increasing salary enhanced appeal for 82 per cent. SCC has limited appeal for most senior surgical residents. Theoretical expansion of surgical critical fellowships to include more general or trauma surgery (acute care surgery) increased the level of interest among senior surgical residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this