A survey of current policy and practice of surgical exposure for preclerkship medical students at American medical institutions

David L. Bernholt, Garzon Muvdi Juan, Dawn Mitzner Laporte, Stephen C Yang, Edward G McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The goals of this study were to (1) determine the extent of preclerkship surgical participation in American medical colleges; (2) examine policies regarding such surgical participation; and (3) elicit medical school administrators' perceptions about such exposure. Methods: Surveys were sent to 128 accredited medical schools (1 administrator each). The 54 (42%) replies were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Student's t tests, with significance defined as a P value of ≤.05. Results: Of the respondents, 55.6% did not permit student surgical participation. Only 22.2% of responding institutions offered preclerkship surgical skills electives. Administrators from the former group of schools perceived significantly greater risk (P =.001) to patient safety with student surgical participation than did administrators at schools permitting such participation, even though no respondents reported malpractice or worker's compensation cases arising from student participation. Conclusions: Medical students have limited opportunities for preclerkship surgical participation at most American medical institutions, possibly because of unsubstantiated concerns for patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Volume206
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

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Administrative Personnel
Medical Students
Students
Patient Safety
Medical Schools
Workers' Compensation
Malpractice
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Clerkship
  • Education
  • Scrub
  • Student
  • Surgery
  • Teach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

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title = "A survey of current policy and practice of surgical exposure for preclerkship medical students at American medical institutions",
abstract = "Background: The goals of this study were to (1) determine the extent of preclerkship surgical participation in American medical colleges; (2) examine policies regarding such surgical participation; and (3) elicit medical school administrators' perceptions about such exposure. Methods: Surveys were sent to 128 accredited medical schools (1 administrator each). The 54 (42{\%}) replies were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Student's t tests, with significance defined as a P value of ≤.05. Results: Of the respondents, 55.6{\%} did not permit student surgical participation. Only 22.2{\%} of responding institutions offered preclerkship surgical skills electives. Administrators from the former group of schools perceived significantly greater risk (P =.001) to patient safety with student surgical participation than did administrators at schools permitting such participation, even though no respondents reported malpractice or worker's compensation cases arising from student participation. Conclusions: Medical students have limited opportunities for preclerkship surgical participation at most American medical institutions, possibly because of unsubstantiated concerns for patient safety.",
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