Objective: Concerns about projected workforce shortages are growing, and attrition rates among surgical residents remain high. Early exposure of medical students to the surgical profession may promote interest in surgery and allow students more time to make informed career decisions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of a simple, easily reproducible intervention aimed at increasing first- and second-year medical student interest in surgery. Design: Surgery Saturday (SS) is a student-organized half-day intervention of four faculty-led workshops that introduce suturing, knot tying, open instrument identification, operating room etiquette, and basic laparoscopic skills. Medical students who attended SS were administered pre-/post-surveys that gauged change in surgical interest levels and provided a self-assessment (1-5 Likert-type items) of knowledge and skills acquisition. Participants: First- and second-year medical students. Outcome Measures: Change in interest in the surgical field as well as perceived knowledge and skills acquisition. Results: Thirty-three first- and second-year medical students attended SS and completed pre-/post-surveys. Before SS, 14 (42%) students planned to pursue a surgical residency, 4 (12%) did not plan to pursue a surgical residency, and 15 (46%) were undecided. At the conclusion, 29 (88%) students indicated an increased interested in surgery, including 87% (13/15) who were initially undecided. Additionally, attendees reported a significantly (p < 0.05) higher comfort level in the following: suturing, knot tying, open instrument identification, operating room etiquette, and laparoscopic instrument identification and manipulation. Conclusions: SS is a low resource, high impact half-day intervention that can significantly promote early medical student interest in surgery. As it is easily replicable, adoption by other medical schools is encouraged.
- medical student
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