In the fall of 2018, the first Residency Completion Survey was created and administered through a coordinated effort between the Residency Program Compliance Committee and the Resident Credentialing Committee. There were multiple objectives focused on determining how are residents are being trained and identifying areas of difficulty. The survey was sent to 72 individuals, of which 57 completed the survey.
Overall the results were quite favorable. The majority of residents thought their programs followed the guidelines established, were satisfied with the amount of ACVS Diplomate supervision/support, and would recommend their programs to other candidates. There were two noteworthy areas of concern that should be addressed:
1) Twenty percent of the residents said they met with their advisors for a formal evaluation only on an annual basis, while the requirement is semi-annual, and this response implies a lack of validity with what was being reported to ACVS. While we all recognize the challenges in a busy schedule to carve out time for a thorough assessment of a resident’s progress throughout the residency, it is essential we make this evaluation a priority. Too often people meet only when they feel there is a need because something is “wrong,” yet there is great value to more frequent feedback in smaller portions. Our residents and our programs can only benefit from more frequent communication.
2) Almost a third of the residents felt they were not allowed the full 18 weeks of research/manuscript preparation time during their residency. Any time out of clinics that the residents are using to study for the Phase I examination should not be considered research/manuscript time. While a clinical caseload is demanding and often a desirable activity for the residents, the longevity of our College is dependent on advancing the science of surgery. Resident projects and resident participation in research are a driving force for advancing surgery and establish the foundation for the future leaders of the College. The allotted time should be used appropriately.
These surveys will be conducted annually. The ACVS leadership will use this information to monitor our ability to effectively train residents to the best of our abilities. We are grateful to have so many Diplomates dedicating their time, their knowledge, and their skills toward making ACVS one of the most successful specialty training programs in the medical professions.
Eric J. Parente, DVM, DACVS
ACVS Director of Certification