Phong T. Dargon1, Angela A. Kokkosis2, Rabih A. Chaer3, Erica L. Mitchell1
1Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR; 2The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City, NY; 3University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
OBJECTIVES: As national efforts aim to increase the number of vascular surgery (VS) trainees, we sought to evaluate current recruitment strategies used by VS faculty to attract medical students (MS) and to explore factors influencing MS career choice.
METHODS: Phase 1: An online survey was sent to all U.S. SVS physician members to determine their participation in MS educational activities. MS exposure to vascular disease was also determined by curricular mapping of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) online curriculum database (CurrMit). Phase 2: A second survey was sent to all senior MS from a medical school with a traditional curriculum to examine critical determinants affecting career choice. A third survey was used to elicit current VS trainees’ exposure to VS during medical school.
RESULTS: Phase 1: Two-hundred seven (9.5%) SVS members (57% academic, 38% community) responded to the survey. 83% report interactions with MS. 67% provide lectures and 63% mentorship primarily at the MS3 level. Fifty-eight percent participate in a surgery interest group (SIG) if available but only 7% have a VS SIG. 6% participate in cadaver dissections and 18% physical exam courses. CurrMit data from 76/136 allopathic medical schools reveal a paucity of vascular education in the preclinical years on carotid, AAA, PAD, venous disease and diabetic ulcer. Phase 2: Eighty-nine of one-hundred seventeen (76%) MS responded to the survey. Sixty-nine percent report making their career choice prior to entering clerkships. Mentorship and preclinical exposure were most important in career decision although commitment to the specialty is made during the third and fourth years. The VS trainee survey confirmed the importance of preclinical exposure and mentorship to career choice.
CONCLUSIONS: To improve MS recruitment to VS, SVS members should reach out to MS during their preclinical years through lectureship, anatomy dissections, mentorship and development of VS SIGs. MS recruitment to VS should also include modifications to the AAMC curriculum to boost VS education.
AUTHOR DISCLOSURES: R. A. Chaer, Nothing to disclose; P. T. Dargon, Nothing to disclose; A. A. Kokkosis, Nothing to disclose; E. L. Mitchell, Nothing to disclose.
Posted April 2012