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Assessing the Effect of an Intensive 2-Week Surgical Training and Innovation Program for High-School Students

  • Author(s): Labadie, B
  • Patel, RM
  • Gandy Labadie, J
  • Hwang, C
  • Okhunov, Z
  • Landman, J
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2017 Association of Program Directors in Surgery Objective The summer surgery program (SSP) was founded in 2012 as an educational program for students at the critical juncture between high school and college to engender interest in medicine, science, and innovation. This program has a distinct emphasis on innovation and problem solving based on real-life operative challenges identified by students during surgical observation in the operating room. The effect of the SSP regarding postsecondary education and career goals was evaluated by participants using a follow-up questionnaire. Design Retrospective cohort study using web-based survey administered to students at least 1 year after participation in the SSP. Associations between demographics and survey responses were made using Fisher's exact test and a Bonferonni correction was used to account for multiple comparisons. Participants Between July 2012 and August 2015, 119 students enrolled in the SSP. We sent a web-based questionnaire link to all participants who completed the program. The questionnaire contained 80 questions assessing the participant's interest in studying medicine or science in college, knowledge of health care, and their appreciation and understanding of innovation. Setting UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA; Institutional tertiary care center. Results In total, 77 (64.7%) of 119 students who matriculated in the SSP completed the follow-up survey; the mean number of years after the program was 2.09 years. Nearly all students reported the program increased their interest in studying medicine or science in college (97.4%), led them to a better understanding of their own career goals (93.5%) and made them more confident in their ability to succeed in a career in health care (88.3%). The majority indicated the program led them to better understand the training and schooling required of doctors and surgeons (94.8%), and led them to better appreciate the roles of different medical specialties (96.1%). Overall 96% of students reported that the program led them to better understand the importance of innovation and 86% of the respondents noted they better understood the process of innovation. Participants in the SSP were confident they would be able to become a health professional (p < 0.0001). Of note, there was no drop off in the ratings for the program when comparing classes that were 1, 2, 3, or 4 years after their SSP experience. Conclusions The follow-up survey revealed that the 2 week SSP had a markedly, long lasting positive effect on participants in areas of academic, career, and innovation-related variables.

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