Analyzing responses of PGY-3 and research residents on the 2008 American Board of Surgery In-Service Training Examination survey, Sue et al found that research residents had less positive views of residency than their PGY-3 counterparts.
As Sue et al acknowledge in their analysis, research residents fall into several different groups, which differ significantly in their motivation to do a research year. One group is dedicated to a future academic career and is strongly motivated to pursue a fellowship after completing residency. This group is likely to feel that surgery residency is too long, as it will take them 8 or 9 years before they achieve a faculty position.
Deveney K. General Surgery Research Residents: Apples and OrangesComment on “The Vulnerable Stage of Dedicated Research Years of General Surgery Residency”. Arch Surg. 2011;146(6):658-659. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.13