Surgical Thoracic Transplant Training: Super Fellowship-Is It Super?

George Makdisi, Tony Makdisi, Christiano C. Caldeira, I-Wen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The quality of training provided to thoracic transplant fellows is a critical step in the care of complex patients undergoing transplant. The training varies since it is not an accreditation council for graduate medical education accredited fellowship. Method: A total of 104 heart or lung transplant program directors throughout the United States were sent a survey of 24 questions focusing on key aspects of training, fellowship training content and thoracic transplant job satisfaction. Out of the 104 programs surveyed 45 surveys (43%) were returned. Results: In total, 26 programs offering a transplant fellowship were included in the survey. Among these programs 69% currently have fellows of which 56% are American Board of Thoracic Surgery board eligible. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) requirements, 46% of the programs do not meet the requirements to be qualified as a primary heart transplant surgeon. A total of 23% of lung transplant programs also perform less than the UNOS minimum requirements. Only 24% have extra-surgical curriculum. Out of the participating programs, only 38% of fellows secured a job in a hospital setting for performing transplants. An astounding 77% of replies site an unpredictable work schedule as the main reason that makes thoracic transplant a less than favorable profession among new graduates. Long hours were also a complaint of 69% of graduates who agreed that their personal life is affected by excessive work hours. Conclusion: Annually, almost half of all thoracic transplant programs perform fewer than the UNOS requirements to be a primary thoracic surgeon. This results in a majority of transplant fellows not finding a suitable transplant career. The current and future needs for highly qualified thoracic transplant surgeons will not be met through our existing training mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

Keywords

  • Fellowship
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Professionalism
  • Super fellowship
  • Surgical training and transplant
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Thoracic transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

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