Recruitment of house staff into anesthesiology: A re-evaluation of factors responsible for house staff selecting anesthesiology as a career and individual training program

C. Thomas Wass, Timothy R. Long, Darrell W. Randle, Steven H. Rose, Ronald J. Faust, Paul A. Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To reexamine, in a follow-up to our first study, those factors responsible for house staff (i.e., residents and clinical fellows) selecting anesthesiology as a career and a specific training program, as well as house staff satisfaction with various educational aspects of our training program, and their perceptions of the future for graduating anesthesiology trainees. Design: Survey questionnaire of 77 house staff at the Mayo Clinic during the 2000 to 2001 academic year. Setting: Academic medical center. Measurements: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using a questionnaire to survey 77 house staff enrolled in the anesthesiology training program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN during the 2000 to 01 academic year. All responses were anonymous. Data were compared between time epochs using an f-exact test. A p-value ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Main Results: Forty-five (58%) of those surveyed responded to the questionnaire. Responses were similar to those obtained in the original study that we conducted in 1995 to 96. The most frequently cited reasons for selecting anesthesiology as a career were: it is a "hands-on" specialty, it involves the clinical application of physiology and pharmacology, and there is adequate time off. The most frequently cited reasons for selecting our training program were: diversity of training experience, prestige associated with the institution, and house staff satisfaction (i.e., morale) observed at the time of interview. House staff continued to report a very high level of satisfaction with the training program (education, clinical practice, and research opportunities). Only 58% of respondents (vs. 92% in 1995-1996) felt that downsizing of anesthesiology training programs was a national trend, none (vs. 54% in 1995-1996) anticipated difficulty obtaining a job following training, and 91% (vs. 33% in 1995-1996) felt that they had future job security. Overall, 98% (vs. 98% in 1995-1996) were pleased with their career choice, and 93% (vs. 83% in 1995-1996) would choose anesthesiology as a career if they were now graduating from medical school. Conclusion: Data from one institution indicate that selection of an anesthesiology career and training program remain strongly associated with concerns regarding educational experiences and postgraduate employment opportunities. In contrast to our results from our 1995-1996 study, significantly fewer house staff had concerns about securing employment following training. Our observations - coupled with favorable National Resident Matching Program results during the past few years - bode well for the future recruitment of graduating American medical students into anesthesiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Employment
  • Job security
  • National Resident Matching Program
  • Postgraduate education
  • Residency
  • Satisfaction


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