Surgical boot camp for fourth-year medical students: Impact on objective skills and subjective confidence

Lisa A. Bevilacqua, Jessica Simon, Daniel Rutigliano, Joseph Sorrento, Andrew Wackett, Latha Chandran, Mark Talamini, Salvatore Docimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Within surgical education, there has been a recent emphasis on preparing medical students for the rigors of residency in an effort to improve confidence and technical preparedness throughout postgraduate training. The aim of this study is to test the impact of a boot camp course using the American College of Surgeons–based curriculum and objective, observer-based rating tools on both subjective confidence and objective skills of fourth-year medical students. Materials and Methods: Informed consent was obtained on the first day of the boot camp. Before any teaching, students performed 5 tasks (patient handoff, suturing, knot tying, central line placement, and chest tube placement), which were scored using objective rating tools provided by the American College of Surgeons. Students also completed 2 confidence measures. After 2 weeks of dedicated teaching and review, students were scored on the 5 same tasks and repeated the confidence measures. Results: Fourth-year medical students (N = 12) who had matched into surgical subspecialties were invited to participate in a 2-week surgical boot camp. All students beginning the study completed the study. The average age was 26.7 years; 25% of students were female. Subspecialties represented included general surgery (n = 5), orthopedics (n = 3), integrated plastics (n = 2), urology (n = 1), and neurosurgery (n = 1). Scores on objective skills improved significantly in all 5 tasks measured. Confidence improved significantly on individual task items, while overall self-efficacy remained unchanged. Conclusions: Implementation of a 2-week, multimodal surgical boot camp improved student performance on objectively rated surgical skills and increased student confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-301
Number of pages4
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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