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The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Looking to the Future Scholarship Program: A 15-Year Review.

Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2023 September 22
BACKGROUND: It has been postulated that a possible barrier to pursuing cardiothoracic surgery is a lack of exposure and mentorship during training. In 2006, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons began the Looking to the Future Scholarship to expand interest in the field. Undecided trainees with limited exposure were prioritized in the selection process. This report summarizes the career outcomes of general surgery resident and medical student recipients.

METHODS: Scholarship recipients and nonrecipients (control) were queried in a Google search. The percentage of those who were cardiothoracic surgeons or in cardiothoracic training (%CTS) was calculated, as well as the percentage of female surgeons in cardiothoracic surgery.

RESULTS: From 2006 to 2021, there were 669 awardees. The %CTS was 63.7% for resident recipients and 31.4% for students, respectively. There was no significant difference in %CTS between resident and student recipients compared to nonrecipients. Notably, the percentage of female cardiothoracic surgeons was significantly greater for both resident and student recipients.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of resident recipients are now in cardiothoracic surgery, comparable to nonrecipients. While there was no significant difference between the percentage of recipients and non-recipients in cardiothoracic surgery, these groups differed substantially as nonrecipients had greater exposure and commitment to the field at the time of application.

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