A proficiency-based surgical boot camp May not provide trainees with a durable foundation in fundamental surgical skills

Joshua J. Weis, Deborah E Farr, Kareem R. Abdelfattah, Deborah Hogg, Daniel J. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pre-internship boot camps have become popular platforms to rapidly teach skills to surgical interns. This study aimed to analyze psychomotor skill retention four months after completing a boot camp program. METHODS: Surgical interns (n = 20) took a baseline pre-test and then trained to proficiency (based on time and errors) for 5 knot tying, 4 simple suturing, and 2 running suturing tasks during a three-day boot camp. Three months later, all interns took a retention test. RESULTS: Proficiency scores significantly improved on all task types from pre-test to post test and significantly regressed on all task types from post-test to retention test. Normalized scores decreased as the tasks became more complex (knot tying = 93.5, simple suturing = 89.1, running suturing = 85.2, p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Boot camp style training can rapidly teach fundamental surgical skills to novices; however, skills regress significantly over time with a greater degree of regression seen on more complex skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-249
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this