An interprofessional senior medical student preparation course: Improvement in knowledge and self-confidence before entering surgical training

Brent Bauman, Peter Kernahan, Anthony Weinhaus, Michael J. Walker, Eric Irwin, Andrew Sundin, Derek Yerxa, Victor Vakayil, James V. Harmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Senior medical students are variably prepared to begin surgical training; and a national curriculum was established through the American College of Surgeons to better prepare senior medical students for surgical training. The purpose of our course is to prepare senior medical students to more effectively enter surgical training programs. We recently enhanced our independently developed surgical training preparation course by increasing exposure to surgical anatomy, medical physiology, surgical skills, and point-of-care ultrasound. We evaluated the impact of our interprofessional training course to increase confidence and readiness among senior medical students entering surgical training.

Methods: The course focused on pre- and post-operative patient care, surgical anatomy, human physiology, and bedside ultrasound. Didactic lectures in anatomy, human physiology, and bedside ultrasound were provided prior to all hands-on simulated patient care sessions and mock surgical procedures. To evaluate our interprofessional curriculum, we administered pre- and post-course surveys, pre- and post-course knowledge tests, and a final surgical anatomy laboratory practical examination to 22 senior medical students who were enrolled in the course. All students created a final surgical anatomy presentation.

Results: The students demonstrated a 100% pass rate in surgical anatomy. The knowledge test, which included assessment of knowledge on perioperative surgical decision making, human physiology, and bedside ultrasound, demonstrated an average improvement of 10%. Statistically significant improvements in median confidence values were identified in 10 of 32 surveyed categories, including surgical skills (p < 0.05); 84% of student goals for the course were achieved. The medical students' surveys confirmed increased confidence related to the use of point-of-care ultrasound, teamwork experience, and basic surgical skills through small group interactive seminars and surgical simulation exercises.

Conclusion: Our preparation for surgical training course resulted in high student satisfaction and demonstrated an increased sense of confidence to begin surgical training. The 10% improvement in medical student knowledge, as evaluated by a written examination, and the significant improvement in confidence level self-assessment scores confirms this surgery preparation course for senior medical students successfully achieved the desired goals of the course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-451
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in medical education and practice
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Bauman et al.


  • Clinical anatomy
  • Medical student education
  • Simulation-based training
  • Surgical trainee


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