Objective: Anecdotal evidence suggests that the training of young surgeons in Upper GI is not homogeneous across the world. This survey aimed to investigate the different training programs and the level of satisfaction of young surgeons with their surgical and scientific education pathway. Design: A multiple-choice and single best answer format questionnaire was sent to 36 Upper GI chairs from international referral centres and then forwarded to young surgeons (attending physician less than 40 years old). The same questionnaire containing 5 main topics (demographics, residency, fellowship, academic research and activities, manual skill improvement) was posted online on a Surveymonkey website. Setting: San Luigi University Hospital, Orbassano (Turin), Italy; Tertiary University Hospital. Results: Fourteen replies were received from colleagues in 36 referral centres (39% response rate) and 65 voluntary answers from the survey monkey platform. During residency training, only 43% of residents had a specific training in upper GI tract surgery, which was characterized by a small number of interventions performed both with trainer scrubbed and unscrubbed. Fellowship programmes were undertaken by 49% of participants and 64% spent this training period abroad. Operative experience was reported by nearly all respondents with only 27% performing > 10 gastrectomies and only 11% performing > 10 oesophagectomies with the trainer scrubbed. The majority attended less than 10 meetings (58%), and 70% of them published less than 5 papers. Conclusions: The present survey reveals that the young surgeons of the twenty-first century face many hurdles during their surgical training. Overall, the surgical education settings are limited for both practical and scientific training for upper GI trainees. As a result, it is not possible to train in upper GI surgery to a level of competent independent practice.
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