Abstract for:Transitions to Independence in the Early Careers of Surgeons

In this paper, we use a feedback lens to examine the challenges of early career surgeons in making the transition to independence following their years of residency and fellowship training.  We draw on the real-world case examples of surgeons experiencing successful and less successful trajectories in their careers and uses these cases to motivate our description of the feedback structure of these career transitions.  We then develop a simulating system dynamics model based on the conceptual feedback structure we identified and use this model to explore the dynamics of transitions to independence.  The study reveals feedback loops that explain the dynamic patterns of the evolution of surgical careers better than previous factorial analyses have been able to do and, more importantly, point to promising avenues for re-thinking both the education of surgeons during residency and fellowship and the mentoring and coaching of early career surgeons in the years after graduation.