Am Surg. 2022 Jun 19:31348221109451. doi: 10.1177/00031348221109451. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Several studies have indicated a decline in the number, types, and complexity of surgical procedures within military treatment facilities (MTFs). This study aims to determine what effect, if any, these downward trends have had on the relationship between the military health system (MHS) and surgical graduate medical education.
METHODS: Graduating chief resident final ACGME case logs from 4 of thirteen military general surgery programs were evaluated from 2015 to 2020. The proportion of total cases performed by residents at military institutions were compared on a year over year basis.
RESULTS: The proportion of cases performed within the military hospitals declined 3.27% each year between 2015 and 2020 (P < .0001) in 4 MTFs. All individual hospitals had significant declines in case volume except one (William Beaumont Army Medical Center) which increased 6.05% with each year, but also increased the number of MTF partnerships within its program (P < .0001).
CONCLUSIONS: There has been a statistically significant decline over time in the proportion of cases logged by residents within the studied military treatment facilities. Investment into military hospitals to increase case numbers, case diversity, and complexity and/or acceptance of this gradual decline with greater shifting of educational workload onto civilian hospitals is required.