Money matters: a resident curriculum for financial management

J Surg Res. 2014 Dec;192(2):348-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2014.06.004. Epub 2014 Jun 11.


Background: A 2005 survey reported 87% of surgery program directors believed practice management training should occur during residency. However, only 8% of program directors believed residents received adequate training in practice management [1]. In addition to the gap in practice financial management knowledge, we recognized the need for training in personal finance among residents. A literature review and needs assessment led to the development of a novel curriculum for surgery residents combining principles of practice management and personal finance.

Methods: An 18-h curriculum was administered over the 2012 academic year to 28 post graduate year 1-5 surgery residents and faculty. A self-assessment survey was given at the onset and conclusion of the curriculum [2]. Pre-tests and post-tests were given to objectively evaluate each twice monthly session's content. Self-perception of learning, interest, and acquired knowledge were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.

Results: Initial self-assessment data revealed high interest in practice management and personal finance principles but a deficiency in knowledge of and exposure to these topics. Throughout the curriculum, interest increased. Residents believed their knowledge of these topics increased after completing the curriculum, and objective data revealed various impacts on knowledge.

Conclusions: Although surgery residents receive less exposure to these topics than residents in other specialties, their need to know is no less. We developed, implemented, and evaluated a curriculum that bridged this gap in surgery education. After the curriculum, residents reported an increase in interest, knowledge, and responsible behavior relating to personal and practice financial management.

Keywords: Curriculum development; Personal finance; Practice management; Resident education; Resident wellness.

MeSH terms

  • Contract Services
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Financial Management*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Physician Assistants
  • Private Practice*
  • Risk Management