Rural program affects choice of surgical practice
(HealthDay)—Surgical residents who complete a rural surgery rotation are much more likely to enter general surgery practice and practice in a rural area, even if they had initially planned to specialize, according to research published online July 3 in JAMA Surgery.
Karen Deveney, M.D., from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues analyzed the records of 70 surgical residents who entered practice since implementation of a one year rural rotation in 2002. Of these, 11 completed the rural surgery program.
The researchers found that residents who completed the rural year were significantly more likely to enter general surgery practice (91 versus 47 percent) and practice in a population site of less than 50,000 (36 versus 7 percent). About half of residents (six residents; 55 percent) who completed the rural year had entered residency with a desire to practice general surgery, and all were practicing general surgery. Of the five residents who completed the rural year and had entered residency desiring a specialty practice, 80 percent (four residents) were practicing general surgery. In contrast, only 29 percent of residents who did not complete the rural year were in general surgery.
"Providing residents a dedicated and significant experience in a rural setting increases the likelihood that they will practice general surgery in a similar setting despite initial specialty plans," Deveney and colleagues conclude.
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