Preclinical Surgical Preparatory Course and the NRMP Match: Early Exposure and Surgical Recruitment a 10-Year Follow-Up.
Journal of surgical education
OBJECTIVE: Many medical students mentally commit to specialties prior to entering clerkships. This is why early preclinical interactions with surgical specialties, through mentorship and/or interest groups, increases the opportunity to nurture enthusiasm for surgery. In 2007, a course providing preclinical medical students with introductory surgical skills training and preparation for the surgical environment ("SURG205") was established at our institution. The course underwent a major revision in 2016, increasing intraoperative mentorship by matching students to surgical attendings and requiring students to scrub into operative cases together. We anticipate that the positive surgical experiences created by the course will lead to further development and enhancement of student interest in surgical specialties-interest that we hypothesized would reflect in their National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match outcomes.DESIGN: NRMP results from 2010 to 2019 were cross-referenced with a database of students who participated in the SURG205 course from 2007 to 2016. With this, we examined the correlation between student participation in SURG205 and surgical specialty match. Descriptive statistics were used to review the trends of the NRMP results, and Pearson's correlation was used to determine the relationship and its significance.SETTING: This study was conducted in a single private medical school in California.PARTICIPANTS: Specialties considered "surgical" included: General Surgery, integrated programs-such as Plastic, Thoracic, or Vascular surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Urology. All other specialties were considered nonsurgical. Students identified as having participated in SURG205 and who then also took part in the NRMP.RESULTS: Seven hundred eighty students underwent the Match process from 2010 to 2019. 144 (18.5%) of these students participated in SURG205 between 2007 and 2016. Each Match class ranged in size from 62 to 91 (median = 77.5, IQR = 14.5) students. (Table 1) Two-hundred and nineteen students (28.1%) matched into a surgical specialty, of which 34 (15.5%) selected general surgery. From 2010 to 2019 the rate of students who matched into surgical specialties averaged 28.1% per year with a slight nonstatistically significantly increasing trend over that time period R2 = 0.30 (p = 0.09; Fig. 1). There was a significant increase in trend in proportion of students who took the course and matched into any specialty between 2010 and 2019 (R2 = 0.85, p = 0.0002; Fig. 2). And, there was a statistically significant positive relationship between students taking the course and matching into a surgical specialty (R2 = 0.63, p = 0.01; Fig. 3).CONCLUSION: Our results highlight the increasing tendency of students who pursue surgical specialties having previously participated in this early exposure courses. Not only is student interest created and encouraged through positive mentorship experiences, but that interest may be associated with increases in application rates and eventual match into the specialty. General surgery training programs might consider these trends when designing courses to ease transitions into first-year residency positions-such as fourth-year surgical boot camps, surgical procedure-based anatomy courses, and mentorship frameworks. This information further justifies the cost and time commitment required to administer these programs for students.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.05.016
View details for PubMedID 32522563