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 M. 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 1 2013

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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