Trends of core versus subspecialty operative procedures completed in general surgery residency training programs

Faiz Tuma, Rafael D. Malgor, Nikit Kapila, Mohamed K. Kamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: General surgery residency involves performing subspecialty procedures in addition to the core general procedures. However, the proportion of core general surgery versus subspecialty procedures during training is variable and its temporal changes are unknown. The goal of our study was to assess the current trends in core general surgery and subspecialty procedure distributions during general surgery residency training. Methods: Data were collected from the ACGME core general surgery national resident available report case logs from 2007 to 2019. Descriptive and time series analyses were used to compare proportions of average procedures performed per resident in the core general surgery category versus the subspecialty category. F-tests were conducted to show whether the slopes of the trend lines were significantly non-zero. Results: The mean of total procedures completed for major credit by the average general surgery resident increased from 910.1 (SD=30.31) in 2007 to 1070.5 (SD=37.59) in 2019. Over that same period, the number of general, cardiothoracic, plastic and urology surgery procedures increased by 24.9%, 9.8%, 76.6% and 19.3%, respectively. Conversely, vascular and paediatric surgery procedures decreased by 7.6% and 30.7%, respectively. The neurological surgery procedures remain stable at 1.1 procedures per resident per year. A significant positive correlation in the trend reflecting total (p<0.0001), general (p<0.0001) and plastic (p<0.0016) surgery procedures and the negative correlation in the trend lines for vascular (p<0.0006) and paediatric (p<0.0001) surgery procedures were also noted. Conclusions: Trends in overall surgical case volume performed by general surgery residents over the last 12 years have shown a steady increase in operative training opportunity despite the increasing number of subspecialty training programmes and fellowships. Further research to identify areas for improvement and to study the diversity of operative procedures, and their outcomes is warranted in the years to come.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140354
Pages (from-to)159776141
Number of pages1
JournalPostgraduate Medical Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • surgery


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