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Am J Surg. 2014 Feb;207(2):179-86. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2013.07.031. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

A mentorship-based preclinical elective increases exposure, confidence, and interest in surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA; Department of Plastic Surgery, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, 2 Dudley Street, COOP 500, Providence, RI 02902, USA. Electronic address: bdrolet@lifespan.org.
2
Department of Surgery, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.
3
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The predicted shortage of surgeons is of growing concern with declining medical student interest in surgical careers. We hypothesized that earlier exposure to operative experiences and the establishment of resident mentors through a preclinical elective would enhance student confidence and interest in surgery.

METHODS:

We developed a preclinical elective in surgery, which served as an organized curriculum for junior medical students to experience surgery through a paired resident-mentorship model. We assessed student exposure and confidence with clinical activities before and after the elective (N = 24, 100% response rate). We compared these students with a cohort of peers not enrolled in the elective (N = 147, 67% response rate).

RESULTS:

We found significantly improved confidence (2.8 vs 4.4) and clinical exposure (2.4 vs 4.3) before versus after the elective, with precourse scores equal to matched peers.

CONCLUSIONS:

This elective incorporates elements that have been shown to positively influence student decision making in surgical career choice. The mentorship model promotes residents as educators, whereas the elective provides a means for early identification of students interested in surgery.

KEYWORDS:

Curriculum development; Medical students; Residents; Surgical education

PMID:
24269035
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjsurg.2013.07.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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