Creating a Rural Surgery Track and a Review of Rural Surgery Training Programs

Phillip J. Mercier, Steven J. Skube, Samantha L. Leonard, Ashley N. McElroy, Tyler G. Goettl, Melissa M. Najarian, Paula M. Termuhlen, Jeffrey G. Chipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to present the process of developing a rural surgery training track within an established residency program and review the current rural surgery training programs in the nation. Design: This study reviews current rural surgery training opportunities at Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited surgical residencies in the United States and presents the process of creating the University of Minnesota's rural surgery training track. Setting: This study was performed at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and at Essentia Health—Saint Mary's Medical Center, in Duluth, Minnesota. Participants: Accredited general surgery residencies were reviewed. The creation of a designated rural surgery training track added an additional rural-designated surgical resident during each postgraduation year and created a required postgraduation year 2 rural surgery rotation for all categorical surgical residents. Results: Two hundred sixty-eight surgery residency programs were reviewed. Twenty-seven had required rural rotations, 10 offered only elective rural rotations, and 4 had dedicated National Resident Matching Program codes for rural training tracks. After review of national rural surgery training opportunities, the University of Minnesota's process of creating a designated rural surgery training program required attention to 5 main components: needs assessment and review of local opportunities, surgery residency review committee approval, funding, surgical education, and clinical/operative education. Conclusions: Increasing opportunities for surgical residents to train in rural settings may help with recruitment of medical students and retention of surgeons pursuing careers in rural surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-468
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Association of Program Directors in Surgery


  • Curriculum
  • General surgery
  • Resident education
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Workforce issue


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