Background: There are several problems militating against satisfactory residency training in Nigeria. These problems may not be effectively identified and resolved if the opinion of the trainee doctors is ignored. Objectives: To review surgical residents’ perspectives of their training program in South-eastern Nigeria, with the aim of suggesting evidence-based innovative changes to enable the programs meet global trends and standards. Materials and Methods: A total of 90 semi-structured and pre-tested questionnaires were evenly distributed (30 per hospital) to the surgical residents at three tertiary healthcare facilities in South-eastern Nigeria. Information sought included sociodemographic variables, level in the residency training, rating of program and different aspects, learning environments/opportunities, and suggestions on ways to improve either part or overall program. Results: Analysis of 56 properly completed questionnaires (response rate=62.2%) shows that the respondents were aged 29 to 53 years [mean(SD) = 35.3(1.7)], mostly males (91.1%) and junior residents (75%). A significant majority of residents (47 or 83.8%) rated the surgical residency training in their respective centers as inadequate. Grand rounds were roundly criticized as having misplaced objectives and tending toward fault-finding by Consultants. Suggested interventions for improvement included enhanced supervision/mentoring/teaching by senior colleagues, inclusion of didactic lecture sessions, research trainings, and foreign postings. Conclusion: There exist gaps between expectations of surgical residents and the training offered. These create needed support for an evidenced-based review of surgical residency training program to enable it meet the aspirations of trainees and the ever-changing trend in Medicine. More studies on surgical residents covering other regions of Nigeria, and including the trainers (Consultants), will be of immense value.
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