Resident Rural Surgery Rotations With Endoscopy and Laparoscopy: Is More Residency Training Needed in These Areas to Prepare Rural Surgeons?

Geary D Bush, MD, Don K Nakayama, MD MBA, Martin L Dalton, MD. Mercer University School of Medicine / The Medical Center of Central Georgia


Background: The workforce shortage is especially acute in rural regions, which attract few resident trainees.

Methods: To enhance the profile of rural surgery and to expose residents to consider practice in small communities, in March 2010 we offered one month elective rotations to residents in their second and fourth post graduate years (PGY2, PGY4) with surgeons practicing in rural communities, populations 2,600, 11,600, and 17,000 (2010 census). Results. Over a 16-month period 8 residents spent elective rotations with rural practices (6 PGY2, 2 PGY4). The PGY2 residents performed an average of 39.3 cases, of which 5.0 (13%) were colonoscopy and upper endoscopy and 7.5 (19%) were laparoscopic operations. PGY4 residents did more cases, an average of 71, of which 34 (48%) were endoscopies and 7.5 (11%) laparoscopic operations. All residents rated their educational experience as exceptional after the rotation. Both PGY4 and 2 of 6 PGY2 residents will be entering rural practices at the completion of their training.

Conclusions: Rotations with preceptors in rural practices provide experience in endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery, procedures that are in demand in small communities. Surgeons in rural practice serve as mentors and role models for residents considering small community settings.

Session Number: Poster – Poster Presentations
Program Number: P558
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