What Are Students Seeing: Analysis Of National Vascular Surgery Interest Groups Online Materials
Audrey M. Ibanez, Michael Amendola, MD.
VA Medical Center/VCU Health System, Richmond, VA, USA.
Objectives: With the ongoing conversion of vascular surgery fellowships to vascular surgery residencies, there is a need to focus on recruiting medical students. Many medical schools have created vascular surgery interest groups (VSIG) with the goals of early exposure to the specialty. The Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS) has an official registration of these groups. The utility of these VSIGsí online materials and their online presences has yet to be delineated.
Methods: The SVS VSIG website listing was accessed in December 2018 to delineate if the VSIG had an online presence (website, Facebook, Twitter), VSIG president and VSIG mentor genders. If there was an online presence: stated goal of the VSIG, mentor name stated, mentorís email stated, VSIG president stated and if contact information was present. Website Grader was used to assess websites quality. Additionally, two key questions were sought from every website examined: 1. What is Vascular Surgery? and 2. How does one train in Vascular Surgery?
Results: There were 35 listed SVS VSIG websites, only 6 programs (17%) had an online presence (FIGURE). The majority of VSIG student presidents and mentors were male (74.3% and 71.4%, respectively). Of the program links examined (n=6), all of them had the goal of the organization and the VSIGís mentors name with only a 33% listing the mentorís email and picture. The student president name was mentioned 83% of the time and 67% of the time an email was provided. Only two websites had additional Facebook and Twitter links. Half of the sites examined stated what is Vascular Surgery and only 33% stated how to train in Vascular Surgery. All websites examined scored highly with mean score of 79.8%.
Conclusions: In our examination of VSIGs listed with the SVS, we find only a fraction of the sites had a functional website for potential students to examine. Strikingly, a minority stated how to train in Vascular Surgery. These findings indicate a severe lack on online resources for potential medical student trainees in Vascular Surgery and mandates further resources from the SVS and local VSIGs to improve this mode of communication.
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