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A Single Versus Longitudinal Course Design for Surgical Skills Teaching

Purpose: To compare effects of a single surgical skills course to a longitudinal format on medical student confidence with surgical skills.


Background: Suturing and knot tying are often the initial surgical skills taught to medical students, but it is unclear if a single course versus a longitudinal format improves student confidence in performing these skills.


Methods: This is a prospective cohort study from March 2018 to February 2019 at one academic center. We randomized students rotating through the 3rd year OBGYN clerkship to two groups: a single-course (SC) consisting of one 2-hour session or a longitudinal-course (LC) consisting of four, 30-minute weekly sessions. Students were taught surgical skills including 2-hand knot tying, 1-hand knot tying, simple interrupted suturing, and running/running-locking suturing. At the end of the clerkship, students completed a questionnaire about their confidence with surgical skills and satisfaction with the course.


Results: A total of 33 students were included in the study, with 17 students randomized to the SC and 16 students to the LC. There was no difference between the SC and LC groups in terms of students having formal surgical skills training prior to the OBGYN clerkship (SC 53% vs. LC 44%, p= 0.60). For our primary outcome there was no difference in reported confidence with any of the surgical skills (all p > 0.05). Satisfaction with the course was high in both groups (SC 87% vs. LC 100%, p= 0.5).


Discussions: There was no difference in perceived confidence in surgical skills between the SC and LC groups.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2020, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, UME, Simulation,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,
Medical Knowledge,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Marcella Willis-Gray, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Alison Goulding, MD; Lindsay West, MD; Yingao Zhang, MS; Alice Chuang, MD

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