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OBJECTIVE - The study objective was to assess the impact of dedicated instruction and deliberate practice on fourth-year medical students' proficiency in performing a coronary anastomosis using a porcine heart model, compared with nonsimulator-trained senior general surgery residents.
METHODS - Ten fourth-year medical students were trained to perform a coronary anastomosis using the porcine simulator. Students trained for 4 months using deliberate practice methodology and one-on-one instruction. At the end of the training, each student was filmed performing a complete anastomosis. Eleven senior general surgery residents were filmed performing an anastomosis after a single tutorial. All films were graded by 3 independent cardiac surgeons in a blinded fashion. The primary outcome was the median final score (range, 1-10) of a modified Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill scale. The secondary outcome was time to completion in seconds. Statistical analysis used both parametric (Student t test) and nonparametric (Wilcoxon rank-sum) methods.
RESULTS - The median combined final score for medical students was 3 (interquartile range, 2.3-4.8), compared with 4 (interquartile range, 3.3-5.3) for residents (P = .102). The overall median individual final scores were 3 (interquartile range, 2-6) for grader 1, 3 (interquartile range, 2-5) for grader 2, and 4 (interquartile range, 3-5) for grader 3. For each individual grader, there was no difference in median final scores between medical students and residents. The mean time to completion was 792.7 seconds (95% confidence interval, 623.4-962) for medical students and 659 seconds (95% confidence interval, 599.1-719) for residents (P = .118).
CONCLUSIONS - Dedicated instruction of fourth-year medical students with deliberate and distributed practice of microvascular techniques using a porcine end-to-side coronary artery anastomosis simulation model results in performance comparable to that of senior general surgery residents. These results suggest that focused tissue simulator training can compress the learning curve to acquire technical proficiency in comparison with real-time training.
Copyright © 2013 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To evaluate educational experiences of internal medicine interns before and after maximum shift lengths were decreased from 30 hours to 16 hours.
METHOD - The authors compared educational experiences of internal medicine interns at Vanderbilt University Medical Center before (2010; 47 interns) and after (2011; 50 interns) duty hours restrictions were implemented in July 2011. The authors compared number of inpatient encounters, breadth of concepts in notes, exposure to five common presenting problems, procedural experience, and attendance at teaching conferences.
RESULTS - Following the duty hours restrictions, interns cared for more unique patients (mean 118 versus 140 patients per intern, P = .005) and wrote more history and physicals (mean 73 versus 88, P = .005). Documentation included more total concepts after the 16-hour maximum shift implementation, with a 14% increase for history and physicals (338 versus 387, P < .001) and a 10% increase for progress notes (316 versus 349, P < .001). There was no difference in the median number of selected procedures performed (6 versus 6, P = 0.94). Attendance was higher at the weekly chief resident conference (60% versus 68% of expected attendees, P < .001) but unchanged at morning report conferences (79% versus 78%, P = .49).
CONCLUSIONS - Intern clinical exposure did not decrease after implementation of the 16-hour shift length restriction. In fact, interns saw more patients, produced more detailed notes, and attended more conferences following duty hours restrictions.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - For MD/PhD students, the transition to medical school following graduate research can be difficult. We developed a clinical intervention, the Clinical Preceptorship Program (CPP), for MD/PhD students at Vanderbilt to ease the transition to the core clinical clerkship year (the 3rd medical year) following graduate training. In this study, we determined whether the CPP prepared MD/PhD students adequately for medical school reentry.
METHODS - Clerkship grades were obtained for 680 medical students and 50 MD/PhD students for academic years 2004-2010. A student's unpaired t test was used to analyze differences between group grades.
RESULTS - We did not detect significant differences in the grades of the MD versus MD/PhD students. No differences in individual clerkships were detected with the exception of the Surgery clerkship.
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest that the CPP intervention was successful in preparing MD/PhD students for the core clerkship year. Such a clinical intervention can be an effective preparation for MD/PhD students returning to medical school.
BACKGROUND - The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Case Log represents a data system that satisfies the American Board of Surgery (ABS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, yet has broad data fields for surgical subspecialties. Using the ACS Case Log, we have developed a method of data capture, categorization, and reporting of acute care surgery fellows' experiences.
STUDY DESIGN - In July 2010, our acute care surgery fellowship required our fellows to log their clinical experiences into the ACS Case Log. Cases were entered similar to billable documentation rules. Keywords were entered that specified institutional services and/or resuscitation types. These data were exported in comma separated value format, deidentified, structured by Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes relevant to acute care surgery, and substratified by fellow and/or fellow year.
RESULTS - Fifteen report types were created consisting of operative experience by service, procedure by major category (cardiothoracic, vascular, solid organ, abdominal wall, hollow viscus, and soft tissue), total resuscitations, ultrasound, airway, ICU services, basic neurosurgery, and basic orthopaedics. Results are viewable via a secure Web application, accessible nationally, and exportable to many formats.
CONCLUSIONS - Using the ACS Case Log satisfies the ABS MOC program requirements and provides a method for monitoring and reporting acute care surgery fellow experiences. This system is flexible to accommodate the needs of surgical subspecialties and their training programs. As documentation requirements expand, efficient clinical documentation is a must for the busy surgeon. Although, our data entry and processing method has the immediate capacity for acute care surgery fellowships nationwide, multiple larger decisions regarding national case log systems should be encouraged.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
BACKGROUND - The Surgical Morbidity and Mortality conference has long been used as an opportunity for both process improvement and resident education. With recent heightened focus on creating environments of safety and on meeting the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) General Competencies, novel approaches are required. With the understanding that the provision of medical care is an inherently multidisciplinary enterprise, we advocate the creation and use of a Multidisciplinary Morbidity and Mortality conference (MM&M) as a means to establish this culture of safety while teaching the ACGME General Competencies to surgery residents.
METHODS - A quarterly MM&M conference was implemented to foster communication between disciplines, provide a forum for quality improvement, and enhance patient care. All stakeholders in the perioperative enterprise attend, including the departments of surgery, anesthesia, radiology, pharmacy, nursing, environmental services, risk management, and patient services. Cases that expose system issues with potential to harm patients are discussed in an open, nonconfrontational forum. Solutions are presented and initiatives developed to improve patient outcomes. We retrospectively reviewed the topics presented since the conference's inception, grouping them into 1 of 7 categories. We then evaluated the completion of the improvement initiatives developed after discussion at the conference.
RESULTS - Over a 21-month period, 11 cases were discussed with 23 "actionable" initiatives for quality improvement. Cases were grouped by category; procedures (36.5%), process (36.5%), patient-related (9%), communication (9%), medication (9%), device (0%), and ethics (0%). All cases discussed addressed at least 4 of the 6 ACGME General Competencies.
CONCLUSIONS - Like the practice of medicine, the occurrence of adverse outcomes is frequently multidisciplinary. An MM&M conference is useful in its potential to meet ACGME General Competencies, engender a culture of patient safety, and rapidly achieve quality improvement and systems health care delivery initiatives in a large academic medical center.
Copyright © 2011 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION - Pain in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) is the leading cause of acute care visits and hospitalizations. Pain episodes are a risk factor for the development of acute chest syndrome (ACS), contributing to morbidity and mortality in SCD. Few strategies exist to prevent this complication.
METHODS - We performed a before-and-after prospective multi-modal intervention. All children with SCD admitted for pain during the 2-year study period were eligible. The multi-modal intervention included standardized admission orders, monthly house staff education, and one-on-one patient and caregiver education.
RESULTS - A total of 332 admissions for pain occurred during the study period; 159 before the intervention and 173 during the intervention. The ACS rate declined by 50% during the intervention period 25% (39 of 159) to 12% (21 of 173); P = 0.003. Time to ACS development increased from 0.8 days (0.03-5.2) to 1.7 days (0.03-5.8); P = 0.047. No significant difference was found in patient demographics, intravenous fluid amount administered, frequency of normal saline bolus administration, or cumulative opioid amount delivered in the first 24 hr. Patient controlled analgesia-use was more common after the intervention 52% (82 of 159) versus 73% (126 of 173; P = 0.0001) and fewer patients required changes in analgesic dosing within the first 24 hr after admission (26%, 42 of 159 vs. 16%, 28 of 173; P = 0.015).
CONCLUSIONS - A multi-modal intervention to educate and subsequently change physician's behavior likely decreased the rate of ACS in the setting of a single teaching hospital.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
BACKGROUND - In recent years, there has been a growing interest in endocrine surgery. Educational objectives have been published by the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES), but data have not been collected describing the recruitment pool, fellowship, or postfellowship experiences.
METHODS - A survey was distributed to endocrine surgeons in practice <7 years and endocrine surgery fellows. Demographic, training, and practice data were collected.
RESULTS - The survey response rate was 69% (46/67); 85% were practicing endocrine surgeons and 15% were fellows. In all, 72% of respondents completed an endocrine surgery fellowship, 17% completed surgical oncology, and the remaining individuals completed no fellowship. The mean age was 38 (32-49) years; 39% were women, 67% were white, 26% were Asian, 11% were Hispanic, and 2% were black. A total of 89% completed residency at academic centers. Endocrine surgery fellows performed significantly more endocrine surgery cases in residency than the average graduating chief resident. Mentorship was a critical factor in fellows' decisions to pursue endocrine surgery. Fellows graduated with a median (range) of 150 (50-300) thyroid, 80 (35-200) parathyroid, 10 (2-50) neck dissection, 13 (0-60) laparoscopic adrenal, and 3 (0-35) endocrine-pancreas. Fellows felt the least prepared in neck dissection and pancreas. Of the respondents, 76% of endocrine surgeons in practice are at academic centers, and 75% have practices where most cases are endocrine based.
CONCLUSION - Exposure to endocrine surgery and mentorship are powerful factors that influence residents to pursue careers in endocrine surgery. Significant variation is found in the case distribution of fellowships with a relative paucity in neck dissection, pancreas procedures, and research. Recruitment to endocrine surgery should begin in residency, and the standardization of training should be a goal.
Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - To determine the perceived degree of training of residents in laparoscopic nephrectomy. Laparoscopic nephrectomy is well established in the field of urology and has seen increasing penetrance in urologic practice. The degree to which this recent technical shift has been integrated into urologic training at the residency level has not been characterized.
METHODS - An electronic survey was sent to 518 urology residents and recent graduates and to 85 laparoscopic specialists at academic medical centers. Both residents and practicing urologists were queried regarding the level of resident participation for each step of laparoscopic nephrectomy and opinions on the necessity of fellowship training. The data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum and chi(2) tests.
RESULTS - Attending surgeons perceived a significantly greater level of resident involvement in performing all aspects of laparoscopic nephrectomy, with the exception of hilar dissection and port closure. To perform laparoscopic nephrectomy, 12.5% of attending physicians and 5% of residents reported that a fellowship is necessary.
CONCLUSIONS - Significant disagreement exists between attending surgeons and residents on the perceived degree of resident involvement in most aspects of laparoscopic nephrectomy. This could have significant implications on resident education for a procedure that is arguably the standard of care for treatment of uncomplicated renal masses. Most attending physicians and residents were in agreement that fellowship is not necessary to perform this procedure. These results raise questions regarding the future of laparoscopic training and bring to light the need for better regulation of laparoscopic training.
Graduate medical students must demonstrate competency in clinical skills. Current tracking methods rely either on manual efforts or on simple electronic entry to record clinical experience. We evaluated automated methods to locate 10 institution-defined core clinical problems from three medical students' clinical notes (n=290). Each note was processed with section header identification algorithms and the KnowledgeMap concept identifier to locate Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) concepts. The best performing automated search strategies accurately classified documents containing primary discussions to the core clinical problems with area under receiver operator characteristic curve of 0.90-0.94. Recall and precision for UMLS concept identification was 0.91 and 0.92, respectively. Of the individual note section, concepts found within the chief complaint, history of present illness, and assessment and plan were the strongest predictors of relevance. This automated method of tracking can provide detailed, pertinent reports of clinical experience that does not require additional work from medical trainees. The coupling of section header identification and concept identification holds promise for other natural language processing tasks, such as clinical research or phenotype identification.