Acute care surgery (ACS) services dedicated to care of acute general surgery patients have been established in many tertiary centers across Canada. Little is known about the impact of this trend on postgraduate education. In this study we aimed to evaluate ACS through a cross-sectional survey of general surgery residents in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
General surgery residents at the University of Manitoba were asked to complete an anonymous survey. Basic demographic data were obtained. The educational value of ACS was assessed using 10 statements derived from the CanMEDS framework for training physicians. Resident burnout was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, on emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.
The response rate was 70% (14/20). ACS was evaluated positively based on the CanMEDS roles by the following proportions of responders: surgical skills (79%), clinical knowledge (100%), communicator (100%), collaborator (100%), manager (86%), health advocate (100%), scholar (64%), and professional (93%). Fifty percent of responders had a high score on emotional exhaustion, 43% on depersonalization, and 0% on low sense of personal accomplishment. The overall burnout was 64%.
ACS provides a comprehensive clinical experience based on the CanMEDS competencies. Despite an increased sense of personal accomplishment, residents experienced a high incidence of burnout, as demonstrated by high scores on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization of patients.