Great Expectations? Future Competency Requirements Among Candidates Entering Surgery Training

J Surg Educ. Mar-Apr 2020;77(2):267-272. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2019.09.001. Epub 2019 Oct 9.


Introduction: We describe a multimethod, multi-institutional approach documenting future competencies required for entry into surgery training.

Methods: Five residency programs involved in a statewide collaborative each provided 12 to 15 subject matter experts (SMEs) to participate. These SMEs participated in a 1-hour semistructured interview with organizational psychologists to discuss program culture and expectations, and rated the importance of 20 core competencies derived from the literature for candidates entering general surgery training within the next 3 to 5 years (1 = importance decreases significantly; 3 = importance stays the same; 5 = importance increases significantly).

Results: Seventy-three SMEs across 5 programs were interviewed (77% faculty; 23% resident). All competencies were rated to be more important in the next 3 to 5 years, with team orientation (3.87 ± 0.81), communication (3.82 ± 0.79), team leadership (3.81 ± 0.82), feedback receptivity (3.79 ± 0.76), and professionalism (3.76 ± 0.89) rated most highly.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the competencies desired and required among future surgery residents are likely to change in the near future.

Keywords: Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Professionalism; Systems-Based Practice; competency; job analysis; non-technical skills; screening; selection.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Educational Measurement
  • Feedback
  • General Surgery* / education
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Motivation