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The job market for HPB surgeons: leadership perspectives on surgeon skillsets, training pathways, and hiring

Published:October 02, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2022.09.017

      Abstract

      Background

      Three tracks prepare Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) surgeons: HPB, surgical oncology, and transplant fellowships. This study explored how surgical leaders thought about HPB surgery and evaluated potential candidates for HPB positions.

      Methods

      This descriptive qualitative study utilized interviews of healthcare leaders whose responsibilities included hiring HPB surgeons. We coded inductively then used thematic network analysis to organize the data. Individual codes formed basic themes, then larger secondary themes, then finally “primary” themes.

      Results

      Primary themes were: (1) What defines an HPB surgical practice?, (2) How do they assess candidates for HPB positions?, and (3) How will HPB practices continue to evolve? Leaders assessed applicants’ training, behaviors and cultural fit, technical excellence, and more. Personal recommendations and professional networks significantly influenced the hiring process. HPB surgery needs were growing due to population changes, treatments advances, and changing market conditions.

      Discussion

      Surgical societies should focus on facilitating networking, promoting transparency, sharing quality data, providing evidence of technical skills and teamwork, mentorship, and providing guidance to general surgery residency program directors. There is great interest in unification and cooperation across the profession, protocol standardization enhancing quality, continued workforce diversification, and evaluation of the alignment between training and practice.
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