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The Importance Of Business Training In Residency Education
James R. Patrinely, Jr.1, Matthew J. Davis, BS2, Amjed Abu-Ghname, MD2, Sebastian Winocour, MD2, Edward M. Reece, MD2, Galen Perdikis, MD3.
1Vanderbilt University, Nasvhille, TN, USA, 2Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA, 3Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nasvhille, TN, USA.

PURPOSE: With the increasing emphasis on healthcare costs, efficiency, and policy there is a need for physicians to understand business fundamentals. While non-surgical residencies have implemented formal business education, surgical training programs have been slower to adapt. Further research is needed to evaluate the perceptions and demand business education in plastic surgery residency.
METHODS: A twelve question survey was created. Ninety program director (PD) email addresses were obtained from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Directory. The survey was distributed to all using SurveyMonkey, and PDs were given four weeks to respond. The survey evaluated program demographics and current resources, commitments, and attitudes towards business training. The survey also identified the most important topics to include in a business curriculum for plastic surgery residents.
RESULTS: Thirty-six surveys were completed (response rate = 40%). While most PDs agreed that business education in plastic surgery residency was important (78%) and that their programs should have more business training (73%), only 39% of programs currently offered business training to their residents. Only 42% of PDs believed their chief residents were competent to handle the business aspects of plastic surgery upon graduation. Of the programs that did currently offer business education, 8% of programs offered more than 10 hours of annual training. Training modalities were most commonly in the form of seminars/lectures (67%). No programs offered a formal gap year to pursue a professional business degree (MBA, EMBA, MHA). The most important topics identified for a business curriculum were economics and finance (83.3%), management (64%), marketing (53%), and negotiation (52%).
CONCLUSION: There is disconnect between the demand and perceived importance of business training and the resources currently available for plastic surgery residents to receive formal business education. Increased attention is needed to resolve this discrepancy to ensure that future plastic surgeons are equipped to excel in their personal careers and stimulate the advancement of the field. Future research should aim to further outline an ideal business curriculum for plastic surgery trainees.


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