Introduction: Neurosurgical residents utilize many factors when evaluating training programs over the course of residency. Our study aims to identify which residency program characteristics are deemed most important by residents and understand the effects of resident demographics on their emphasis of various factors.
Methods: We conducted an anonymous nationwide REDCap survey of post-graduate year (PGY) 2 and 7 neurosurgical residents using the Likert scale (Figure 1). Differences in survey responses were assessed using Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests. P-value < 0.05 was significant.
Results: Eighty-eight PGY-2 and 7 residents (21.8 %) completed the survey. The responding residents placed the greatest emphasis on camaraderie among residents, operative autonomy, and number of operative cases without significant differences between resident classes. However, PGY-2 residents reported significantly higher importance in a program's emphasis on research, sub-specialization within residency, geographical location, call schedule, wellness, and presence of physician extenders when compared to PGY-7's, p<0.05. Males placed a greater emphasis on research than female respondents; however, female respondents placed significantly more importance on program location, cost of living, and the number of other female residents in the program, p<0.05. Residents with an additional post-graduate degree placed more emphasis on research opportunities within a residency program, p<0.05. Resident race/ethnicity played a significant role when determining the importance of presence of diversity, number of female residents, and cost of living, p<0.05, Table 1.
Conclusions: All residents placed the greatest importance on resident camaraderie, operative autonomy, and number of operative cases. However, PGY-2s placed greater importance on a program's emphasis on research, sub-specialization, location, wellness, and call schedule than PGY-7s. Some of these differences may reflect national trends in work hour restrictions and earlier adoption of a specialized focus. The survey also highlights important distinctions in race and gender preferences of residents when evaluating their residency programs.
Patient Care: A better understanding of the factors deemed most important in a neurosurgical residency program by current residents can help tailor program's educational objectives to better educate residents, as well as assist in the recruitment of residents.
Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:
1) Describe the factors residents deem most important when evaluating their residency programs.
2) Describe how the importance of certain residency program factors change during the course of residency.
3) Discuss important distinctions in race and gender preferences of residents in evaluating their programs.