Nava Aslani, MD, MHSc, FRCSC, Nawar A Alkhamesi, MD, PhD, FRCS, FRCSEd, FRCSC, Christopher M Schlachta, MD. CSTAR/London Health Sciences Centre, Department of Surgery, Western University, LONDON, CANADA
Our goal was to determine whether participation in the Canadian resident courses endorsed by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) would be associated with eventual membership in SAGES.
Information on Canadian SAGES resident course attendance was obtained from course registration records and cross-referenced with the SAGES membership office. The number of trainees who were eligible to take any of the Canadian SAEGS resident courses offered between 2008 and 2014 was calculated from publicly available data from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Descriptive statistics and Chi Square test were used for comparisons where appropriate.
Between the years of 2008 and 2013, eight Basic and six Advanced Canadian SAGES resident courses on endoscopic surgery were offered. There were a total of 217 course participants, with 20 individuals taking more than one course. Seventeen individuals who took a Basic course went on to take an Advanced course afterwards. In total, 925 Canadian residency trainees were eligible to take a Canadian SAGES course, 195 (21%) of whom joined SAGES as Candidate members. There was a significantly higher rate of SAGES membership amongst Canadian residents who attended a SAGES course as compared to those who did not (38.7% vs. 16.3%, p<0.001). Seventy-seven individuals who took a SAGES course joined the society either immediately before (11) or after (66) the course. The rate of membership was not different for those taking multiple courses. Percentage of attendees who became members after the course did not differ between Advanced (32.4%) and Basic (33.1%) course participants despite the fact that membership in SAGES is a non-enforced pre-requisite for enrollment in an Advanced course. A further 14 (7%) of course attendees expressed interest in joining SAGES but did not complete the application process, a slightly higher percentage than the 4% who expressed interest among non-attendees (p=0.116). All except one member joined SAGES as Candidate members and 73 upgraded their membership to an Active membership once they were eligible. Amongst the members in the Active category 32.9% were previous SAGES course attendees.
Participation in Canadian SAGES resident courses is associated with a higher rate of SAGES membership by attendees. Membership rates do not appear to be influenced by course level.