A National Survey of Integrated Vascular Surgery Residents' Experiences With and Attitudes About Quality Improvement During Residency

J Surg Educ. 2020 Jan-Feb;77(1):158-165. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2019.09.003. Epub 2019 Dec 4.


Background: Integrated vascular surgery residency, or "0+5," programs provide education in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies of Systems-Based Practice (SBP) and Practice-Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI), which include milestones related to quality improvement (QI). It is unclear what QI curricula are in place in 0+5 programs nationally or how 0+5 residents perceive the importance of QI.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess current 0+5 residents' knowledge, experiences with, and attitudes about QI.

Design: A survey was developed using the ACGME Common Program Requirements and Milestones pertaining to QI. All 0+5 residents from 2017 to 2018 academic year were emailed an electronic link to the survey. Descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations were calculated using Stata/MP version 13.1.

Setting: All 0+5 vascular surgery residency programs in the United State (n = 52).

Participants: The survey was completed by 35% (n = 90/257) of 0+5 residents, representing 75% of 0+5 programs in the United States (n = 39/52).

Results: Forty-one percent of respondents felt that applying QI methods is very important and 33% felt that QI education is very important for their future work, however, just 13% felt very prepared to lead a QI initiative. Residents' perceptions of preparedness to lead QI projects and the importance they attached to QI education were significantly influenced by their participation in a QI project (p = 0.003 and p = 0.038 respectively). Finally, just 8% (n = 6) of residents responded correctly to all 13 knowledge-based questions and these residents felt better prepared to lead a QI initiative compared to those who answered incorrectly (p = 0.002).

Conclusions: Most 0+5 residents report participation in a QI project during residency, however, few feel prepared to lead a QI initiative in practice. Furthermore, only half of PGY5 0+5 residents report achieving specific ACGME targets for graduation pertaining to QI. Current QI curricula in 0+5 programs may be inadequate in teaching fundamental QI concepts and achieving ACGME competency targets for graduation.

Keywords: Patient safety; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Professionalism; Quality improvement; Systems based practice; Systems-Based Practice; Vascular surgery education.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Quality Improvement
  • United States