An Analysis of the Current Educational Courses Offered to Vascular Trainees
Joyce J. Kim, MD1, Jeffrey Jim, MD2, Bernadette Aulivola, MD3, Jean Bismuth, MD4, Lori Pounds, MD5, Jonathan Cardella, MD6, Hernan Bazan, MD7, Faisal Aziz, MD8, Rachael Nicholson, MD9, Anna Marjan, MD9, Claudie Sheahan, MD1, Malachi G. Sheahan, III, MD1.
1Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA, 2Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA, 3Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, USA, 4Houston Methodist, Houston, TX, USA, 5UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA, 6Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA, 7Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA, USA, 8Penn State Health, Hershey, PA, USA, 9University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
INTRODUCTION: While there is increasing evidence that short educational courses provide a valuable supplement to vascular surgical training, there is little data regarding the prevalence, content, and educational goals of these programs. Our objective was to catalog the available extra-residency experiences available to vascular trainees in North America.
METHODS: All educational programs offered to vascular trainees and conducted between 2014 and 2018 were identified and categorized in conjunction with the respective course directors. Data obtained included timing and location of course, number of trainees, number of applicants, target audience, course objectives, and educational tools. Programs where the curriculum and content were solely provided by industry were excluded.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight programs were identified and all participated in the project. Most of the courses provided medical didactics (86%, 24/28), with the most common exceptions being mock oral programs. Endovascular simulation training was provided in 61% (17/28) of the programs, with 43% (12/28) also offering open simulation. Cadaver training was included in 29% (8/28) of courses. The total number of trainees participating annually increased from 777 in 2014 to 1169 in 2018. This followed an increase in interest from 868 applicants in 2014 to 1472 in 2018. Using United States Census definitions, there are more fixed location programs in the South (8) than Northeast (4), Midwest (3) or West (4). The South annually holds more courses featuring cadaver dissection (5) than all other regions combined (3). Programs had low faculty to trainee ratios with a median of 1 to 3 and a maximum of 1 to 10. While the majority of courses had specific target attendees (86%, 24/28), few were targeted specifically to mid/junior residents PGY 3 or less (25%, 7/28). Only 14% (4/28) of the programs provided formative feedback to the attendees’ program director.
CONCLUSION: Between 2014 and 2018, there has been an increase in interest and participation in vascular surgery educational courses. While further research is needed on the cost-effectiveness and outcomes of these programs, there seems to be deficiency of junior level specific educational opportunities and of programs that provide formative feedback. Additionally, since the majority of high fidelity open training opportunities are in the South, some regionalization may be appropriate.
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