Purpose: To evaluate the status of surgical training in Japan through a national-level needs assessment. Methods: A survey was sent to all 909 graduating residents (GRs) and their 611 program directors (PDs) for the year 2016. A working group of surgical educators from around the country was formed under the education committee of the Japan Surgical Society. The survey items were developed by consensus of this working group. The survey investigated the knowledge and problems of the current curriculum, and the status of the current residency training. Results: The response rates were 56.3% of the GRs and 76.8% of the PDs. Among the participants, 47.6% of the GRs and 29.4% of the PDs believed that the residency curriculum did not match the clinical experience. Over 80% of the GRs and PDs agreed on the importance of training outside of the OR, whereas only 13% of the GRs had received such training regularly. Trainees also reported a lower satisfaction rate about the opportunity to train outside of the OR. Conclusion: This national-level needs assessment of surgical training in Japan identified several gaps in the curriculum. These results provide valuable data to assist the ongoing efforts for surgical residency curriculum improvement.
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