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Am J Surg. 2017 Sep 20. pii: S0002-9610(17)31058-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2017.09.012. [Epub ahead of print]

The Surgical Skills and Technology Elective Program (SSTEP): A comprehensive simulation-based surgical skills initiative for preclerkship medical students.

Author information

1
Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. Electronic address: rkarmali@qmed.ca.
2
Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.
3
Department of Surgery, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Surgical Skills and Technology Elective Program (SSTEP) is a voluntary preclerkship surgical bootcamp that uses simulation learning to build procedural knowledge and technical skills before clerkship.

METHODS:

Eighteen second year students (n = 18) participated in simulation workshops over the course of 7 days to learn clerkship-level procedural skills. A manual was supplied with the program outline. Assessment of the participants involved: 1) a written exam 2) a single videotaped Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill (OSATS) station 3) an exit survey to document changes in career choices.

RESULTS:

Compared to the mean written pre-test score students scored significantly higher on the written post-test (35.83 ± 6.56 vs. 52.11 ± 5.95 out of 73) (p = 0.01). Technical skill on the OSATS station demonstrated improved performance and confidence following the program (10.10 vs. 17.94 out of 25) (p = 0.05). Most participants (72%) re-considered their choices of surgical electives.

CONCLUSIONS:

A preclerkship surgical skills program not only stimulates interest in surgery but can also improve surgical knowledge and technical skills prior to clerkship.

KEYWORDS:

Medical education; OSATS; Preclerkship; Surgical bootcamp; Technical skill

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