Background: High rates of attrition from general surgery residency may threaten the surgical workforce. We sought to gain further insight regarding resident motivations for leaving general surgery residency.
Methods: We conducted in-depth interviews to generate rich narrative data that explored individual experiences. An interdisciplinary team used the constant comparative method to analyze the data.
Results: Four themes characterized experiences of our 19 interviewees who left their residency program. Participants (1) felt an informal contract was breached when clinical duties were prioritized over education, (2) characterized a culture in which there was no safe space to share personal and programmatic concerns, (3) expressed a scarcity of role models who demonstrated better work-life balance, and (4) reported negative interactions with authority resulting in a profound loss of commitment.
Conclusions: As general surgery graduate education continues to evolve, our findings may inform interventions and policies regarding programmatic changes to boost retention in surgical residency.
Keywords: Career choice; General surgery/education; Internship and residency/manpower.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.