Attitude of prospective surgical residents regarding surgery for morbid obesity

Rob Schuster, John M. Morton, Gigi Yuen Gee Liu, Ramzi S. Alami, Myriam J. Curet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity and associated co-morbidities have become an epidemic in the United States. As surgery for obesity becomes more common, surgical training programs need to address this growing demand. We conducted this study to assess prospective surgery trainees' attitudes and knowledge regarding surgery for morbid obesity. Methods: An anonymous and voluntary questionnaire was given to prospective surgical residency applicants to complete during their interview. The questionnaire included basic demographic information and addressed the applicants' attitudes and basic knowledge about surgery for obesity. Results: 57 applicants to the surgical residency program completed the survey. Demographic information included: 51% male, 36% from the Northeast, 32% with obese family members, and 93% applying for a categorical surgery position. 81% of applicants had been exposed to bariatric surgery. Although 70% of applicants would perform bariatric surgery as part of their practice, only 44% would make this their career. Reasons for reluctance to treat bariatric surgery patients included: more complications (46%), non-compliant patients (33%), and technically demanding surgery (18%). 89% responded that they would recommend bariatric surgery to a family member, but only 77% would consider it for themselves. Overall correct answers regarding bariatric surgery knowledge were 74%. Conclusions: Attitudes and knowledge about surgery for morbid obesity were generally positive in prospective surgical trainees. Medical school curriculum and surgical training programs should continue to expose trainees to information from this ever-growing field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1464-1468
Number of pages5
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Education
  • Medical students
  • Morbid obesity
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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