Several specializing students prefer to do their training abroad if they can because they consider it more stimulating
The unique and unique profession of the surgeon in the training course. Surgical training in Italy (specialization schools) has serious flaws. Even with great differences from center to centre, there is often a rigidly hierarchical environment with a lot of effort on the part of the trainees for results (the possibility of actually operating and thus learning the profession) that are not guaranteed.
It is not uncommon for one to obtain the title of “specialist in surgery” without being real surgeons capable of operating and managing their patients independently. This subordinate condition often persists even for specialist surgeons, many (too many) of whom work for their director in an assistant capacity. This causes widespread discontent and a high rate of both non-assignment (due to lack of interested graduates) and abandonment of posts in surgery specialization schools, as can be seen from the ANAAO ASSOMED data. Let me be clear: it is not impossible to become excellent surgeons in Italy too. On the contrary: there are some magnificent ones. However, major hurdles remain. For this reason, and in line with what was also written in Corriere della Sera regarding the “escape” abroad of our most brilliant graduates, many young people interested in surgery are attracted to training in the USA. Such training is not perfect, of course. However, very satisfying, complete, efficient… in a word: professionalizing. Trainees actually operate and at the end of their journey they have the certainty that they are real surgeons. it is the system (not the good or bad will of individual teachers or individual specialization schools) that guarantees quality training.
Italian surgery can and must do much better. Italy should encourage a collaboration and cross-fertilization between the two systems with: – educational/cognitive experiences (internships, clinical rotations) in the USA for medical students in Italy (whether they are short periods of 2-4 weeks or longer periods such as Erasmus) – collaborations between Italian and USA surgical specialization schools – common research All this in order to change the mentality of Italian surgery for the better. Individual initiatives, such as those of the Association of Italian Surgeons in North America (AISNA), continue to be a useful point of reference. But Italy as a country that must improve and “heal” the training of our surgeons. There is no reason why surgical training in Italy should not systematically be rewarding and of excellence.
* Chirurgo cardiotoracico, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee
March 30, 2023 (change March 30, 2023 | 07:33)
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