Author(s): Parent RJ, Plerhoples TA, Long EE, Zimmer DM, Teshome M,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Surgical interns enter residency with variable technical abilities and many feel unprepared to perform necessary procedures. We hypothesized that interns exposed to a preinternship intensive surgical skills curriculum would demonstrate improved competency over unexposed colleagues on a test of surgical skills and that this effect would persist throughout internship. STUDY DESIGN: We designed a 3-day intensive skills "boot camp" with simulation-based training on 10 topics. Interns were randomized to an intervention group (boot camp) or a control group (no boot camp). All interns completed a survey including demographic information, previous experience, and comfort with basic surgical skills. Both groups completed a clinical skills assessment focused on 4 topics: chest tube insertion, central line placement, wound closure, and the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery peg transfer task. We assessed both groups immediately (month 0), early postcurriculum (month 1), and late postcurriculum (month 6). RESULTS: Fifteen participants were in the intervention group and 13 were in the control group. Before boot camp, mean comfort levels were similar for the groups. All participants had minimal prior experience. Competency for chest tube insertion and central line placement were considerably higher for the boot camp group at months 0 and 1, although much of this difference disappeared by month 6. There was no substantial difference between the 2 groups in the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery peg transfer and wound closure skills. CONCLUSIONS: A surgical skills boot camp accelerates the learning curve for interns in basic surgical skills as measured by a technical skills examination for some skills, although these improvements diminished over time. This can augment traditional training and translate into fewer patient errors. Copyright (c) 2010 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Am Coll Surg
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine