Implementation of a Web- and simulation-based curriculum to ease the transition from medical school to surgical internship

Am J Surg. 2005 Jul;190(1):137-40. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.04.007.


Background: Starting a surgical internship is a stressful experience. We developed a web and simulation-based curriculum to ease this transition.

Methods: We created an educational website containing a curriculum of commonly encountered on call situations. After match day in 2003, we contacted all of our new surgical interns. We performed a confidence assessment using a Likert-scale questionnaire, and the trainees were given access to the curriculum. In June 2003, we performed human patient simulator sessions. The participants were asked to provide feedback regarding the simulator experience. During the first week of residency, they were again asked to answer the confidence questionnaire.

Results: Sixteen residents (94%) used the web curriculum, and 17 (100%) participated in the simulations. Eleven (65%) filled out both questionnaires. The confidence score improved from 5.4 to 6.7 (P < .0001).

Conclusions: A web and simulation-based curriculum for incoming house staff is feasible. Studies are underway to validate this novel method and to expand its use for surgical education.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Models, Educational
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity