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Invited Commentary
September 2014

Transition From Residency to PracticeLife Does Get Better!

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(9):954. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.964

The multi-institutional study by Gifford et al1 in this issue reports the results of a survey of 371 residents in 13 general surgery programs and explores how many residents consider leaving residency and why. The authors correlate their findings with data obtained from the program directors of these residencies. They found that 58.0% seriously considered quitting, mostly during years 1 and 2 and research years, but that a higher percentage of women consider quitting than men and that more women actually do quit in these programs than men. Residents think about quitting when they feel excessively sleep deprived on a specific rotation or because they feel that general surgery has an undesirable future lifestyle. Those who consider quitting but do not do so remain in residency because they switch to a different rotation where they become better rested or because they receive support from family, a significant other, or other residents.

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