Introduction More consultant surgeon posts (around 20%) are being advertised for general and emergency surgeons, but is this in line with the expectations of trainees and consultants?
Method An online tool was used to design, collect and analyse 2 online surveys (www.surveymonkey.net) to determine UK experience and attitudes towards Emergency General Surgery (EGS). One online link was distributed to Consultant members of the ASGBI excluding those appointed as EGS Consultant and a different link to all UK trainees in numbered training posts.
Results 229 (28%) Consultants and 309 (22%) trainees responded.
Whilst 16% of consultants surveyed already work in institutions with Emergency Surgeons, most trainees are seeking appointments in city teaching hospitals and have no interest in EGS beyond normal rota provision with only 8.2% declaring a long term career interest in EGS. Nearly half of consultants expect EGS to become a subspecialty but a similar proportion of trainees said they would not consider an EGS consultant post under any circumstances. Reasons included perception of a sub-consultant specialty, poor work life balance, lack of operating, risk of de-skilling and earning potential.
More recently appointed consultants (50%) felt a dedicated period of EGS training would have better prepared them for EGS when compared with those in post for ten years or more (17%, p = 0.022). EGS aspects cited as ‘unexpected’ by consultants in post included poorly trained registrars and management of trauma patients. Most trainees (72%) favour a 6 month dedicated training period in EGS.
Conclusion Increasing advertisements for EGS posts reflects public and societal need for EGS service provision but training programmes and trainee aspirations may not be meeting this need. A dedicated period of EGS for trainees may address this problem. Trainees with an interest in EGS should be encouraged to pursue a career in this developing specialty.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.
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