The Advanced Trauma Operative Management course in a Canadian residency program

Jameel Ali, Najma Ahmed, Lenworth M. Jacobs, Stephen S. Luk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: The Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) course was first introduced into Canada in 2003 at the University of Toronto, with senior general surgery residents being the primary focus. We present an assessment of the course in this Canadian general surgery residency program. Methods: We compared trainees' pre- and postcourse self-efficacy scores and multiple choice question (MCQ) examination results, using paired t tests and resident (n = 24) and faculty (n = 7) course ratings made according to a 10-item, 5-point Likert scale. Faculty were previously trained as ATOM instructors. Results: Mean pre- and postcourse self-efficacy scores were 68.9 (standard deviation [SD] 24.0) and 101.4 (SD 14.8), respectively (p < 0.001). Mean pre- and post-MCQ scores were 16.4 (SD 3.2) and 18.8 (SD 2.7), respectively (p = 0.006). On the Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree), all faculty and residents rated the following items as 4-5: objectives were met; knowledge, skills, clinical training, judgment and confidence improved; the live animal is a useful representation of clinical trauma; and the course should be continued but would be more appropriate for the fourth rather than the fifth year of residency. Residents rated as 1-2 the item that the human cadaver would be preferable for learning the surgical skills. Of 24 residents, 20 rated as 3 or less the item stating that the course prepares them for trauma management more adequately than their regular training program. Conclusion: Self-efficacy, trauma knowledge and skills improved significantly with ATOM training. Preference was expressed for the live animal versus cadaver model, for ATOM training in the fourth rather than fifth year of residency and for the view that it complements general surgery trauma training. The data suggest that including ATOM training in Canadian general surgical residency should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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