Vascular Surgery Curriculum For Medical Students: A National Targeted Needs Assessment
Chelsea Dorsey, MD1, Nicholas McKenzie, BSPH1, Jason T. Lee, MD2, Ross Milner, MD1, Nancy Schindler, MD3.
1The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, 2Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, 3NorthShore Medical Group, Skokie, IL, USA.
Objective: At present, neither the American College of Surgeons (ACS) nor the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) provide curriculum recommendations for medical students rotating on a vascular surgery service. We sent a targeted national needs assessment to vascular surgeons in order to investigate the need for a structured curriculum for medical students rotating through vascular surgery during their clerkships.
Materials and Methods: The needs assessment survey was developed with input from medical students, vascular surgeons, and medical educators. Respondents were identified from the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database. The survey was sent to program directors of vascular residencies and fellowships and to other vascular surgery educators . The survey collected data regarding the existing vascular surgery curriculum at their institution, the need for a standardized curriculum, desired experiences for medical students, and important vascular topics for medical students to cover while on rotation.
Results: Responses were obtained from 50 of the 146 surveyed individuals (response rate = 34.2%). Forty-eight respondents (96%) worked in an academic hospital or academic affiliated hospital. With regard to the existing educational structure, only twenty-eight respondents (61%) indicated that they had a curriculum for medical students approved by the surgery clerkship director. Thirty-seven respondents (77.1%) said there were at least goals and objectives for students on the vascular surgery service, and 29 respondents (60.4%) indicated that there was dedicated time for didactic sessions. Twenty-nine respondents (60.4%) said there was a formal feedback session for students. Only a small portion of vascular educators (13.1%) disagreed or strongly disagreed that there should be a standardized vascular curriculum for medical students. When asked to rank nine topics from most important to least important for students to learn, respondents ranked peripheral arterial disease, aortic disease, and carotid disease highest. Simulation experience was most frequently indicated as a desired addition to the curriculum.
Conclusions: This study identified the lack of an existing structured curriculum for medical students, the desire for a standardized curriculum, and key topics and experiences that are felt to be important for students to cover. As such, vascular educators have the potential to enhance the learning experience of medical students rotating through the service by developing a standardized curriculum.
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