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The PreOp Program: Intensive Preclinical Surgical Exposure is Associated With Increased Medical Student Surgical Interest and Competency.

TitleThe PreOp Program: Intensive Preclinical Surgical Exposure is Associated With Increased Medical Student Surgical Interest and Competency.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLazow SP, Venn RA, Lubor B, Kocharian G, Kreines FM, Gilbert E, Marnell CS, Cricco-Lizza E, Cooley V, Christos P, Dakin GF
JournalJ Surg Educ
Date Published2019 Apr 17

OBJECTIVE: As medical students' interest in surgical fields wanes, we investigated the impact of a preclinical surgical exposure program on students' attitudes toward pursuing surgical careers.

DESIGN: This is a prospective longitudinal study of PreOp, a preclinical rotation-based surgical exposure program for first-year medical students, from 2013 to 2017. Surveys assessed PreOp rotation quality, students' surgical interest, and students' self-reported preparedness for the surgical clerkship. Surgery clerkship grades were obtained as a measure of surgical competency and compared to class-wide peers. Match data was collected and compared to class-wide peers as well as historical norms.

SETTING: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY; tertiary care center.

PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-four PreOp students from 2013 to 2017.

RESULTS: Fifty-four PreOp participants were recruited. After completing the PreOp program, 66.7% of PreOp students reported being very likely to apply into a surgical field compared to 29.4% when they started medical school. Ultimately, 71.4% of PreOp students versus 21.7% of non-PreOp class-wide peers matched into surgical fields (p < 0.001). From the preceding 5 match years before PreOp implementation, 21.4% of all students matched into surgical fields compared to 25.6% of all students after PreOp was started (p = 0.26). In terms of preparedness, 75% of PreOp students reported feeling more prepared for the third-year surgery clerkship than their non-PreOp peers after the second year of medical school. PreOp students were significantly more likely than non-PreOp class-wide peers to receive honors in the surgery clerkship when controlling for cumulative clerkship GPA (p = 0.012, adjusted odds ratio = 5.5 [95% confidence interval 1.5-22.1]).

CONCLUSIONS: Hands-on preclinical surgical exposure was associated with student-reported increased surgical interest that was maintained longitudinally and reflected in significantly increased surgical matches relative to non-PreOp class-wide peers. This study uniquely demonstrates that participation in PreOp was also associated with increased self-reported surgical preparedness and significantly higher surgery clerkship grades relative to overall academic performance.

Alternate JournalJ Surg Educ
PubMed ID31005481
Faculty Publication