Program Directors' Selection Criteria for General Surgery and Internal Medicine Residency Programs: A Cross-Sectional Study

Cureus. 2022 Nov 7;14(11):e31218. doi: 10.7759/cureus.31218. eCollection 2022 Nov.


Background and aims General surgery is a specialty that calls for a variety of abilities such as strong hand-eye coordination, the ability to function well under pressure, and the ability to make quick, informed decisions. On the other hand, internal medicine focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing adult non-surgical disorders. The present study aims to investigate the commonly used selection criteria employed by program directors (PDs) for general surgery and internal medicine residency programs. It also identifies how PDs value those criteria in the western and central regions of Saudi Arabia. Methods A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted using a questionnaire adopted from the literature and modified following expert opinion. It was distributed to PDs in both the central and the western regions of Saudi Arabia. Results In total, 34 PDs completed the questionnaire, of which 32 (94.1%) were men. The mean age of participants was 42.53 ± 5.05 years; 21 (61.8%) PDs were general surgeons, and 47.1% were from the Jeddah region. Conclusion The study showed that the most selected criterion for both specialties was communication skills followed by clinical rotation in the same hospital; leadership skills were also highly considered by PDs.

Keywords: applicant selection; general surgery; internal medicine; program directors; residency.