Characterization and Perceptions of Surgical Clinician Educators: An International Survey

Brenessa Lindeman, Halah Ibrahim, Dora Stadler, Sophia Archuleta, Joseph Cofrancesco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Surgeons worldwide face unique time and practice pressures differentiating them from other types of physicians, specifically as clinician educators (CEs). The purpose of this study is to identify and describe academic surgical clinician educators (SCEs) in international graduate medical education systems, characterize their perceptions of roles, preparedness, and factors affecting job satisfaction and retention, as compared to nonsurgical international CEs. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A cross-sectional survey of CEs was conducted June 2013-June 2014 at academic medical centers in Singapore, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates that adopted competency-based graduate medical education and received accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-International. RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-six (76.3%) of 359 eligible physicians responded; 64 (23.2%) were SCEs. SCEs were predominantly male (80%), less than 50 years of age (83%), with 64% having been in their current position less than 5 years. Overall, SCEs were significantly less confident, as compared to nonsurgical CEs, in aspects of educational programs, including curriculum development, assessment, and mentorship. SCEs spent significantly more time engaged in patient care activities, as compared to nonsurgeon colleagues. There were no significant differences between SCEs and nonsurgical CEs in terms of work-life balance and satisfaction with responsibilities, position, or potential promotion, with most SCEs intending to stay in academic medicine. CONCLUSIONS: Academic SCEs working in the international programs reported overall job satisfaction with a desire to remain in academic medicine. However, SCEs have several faculty development needs. International surgical training programs can develop and expand offerings in teaching and education to improve skills and maintain SCE satisfaction and retention, necessary to successfully train the next generation of surgeons.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1513-1519
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Career satisfaction
  • Clinician educator
  • International graduate medical education
  • Surgical workforce
  • Systems-Based Practice


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