Attrition from categorical positions in general surgery residency programs is an important problem. Data generated by the American Board of Surgery based on their In-Training Examination suggest that approximately 20% of categorical general surgery residents fail to complete training. The article by Andriole and colleagues is of interest because it identifies surgery residents as being at higher risk for attrition than residents in other specialties. Review of their 1994-2000 medical school graduates revealed that those who entered surgery training programs of 5 years or longer were significantly more likely to not complete them compared with other students. In addition, the choice of general surgery residency was an independent predictor of attrition. Their article, therefore, confirms that the field of surgery has a serious issue to confront.
Bell RH. Attrition During Graduate Medical Education—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2008;143(12):1177. doi:10.1001/archsurg.143.12.1177