Purpose: We describe student satisfaction following a unique medical student education initiative-an elective clinical clerkship in laparoscopic urology.
Materials and methods: An elective 1-month rotation in urologic laparoscopy was approved by the medical school in 2005. Clerkship objectives are to learn the principles of laparoscopy, to assess and improve laparoscopic skills, and to learn the indications for and techniques of urologic laparoscopic surgery. The elective has five components: (1) a once-weekly clinic with a urology attending, (2) completion of a CD-ROM-based laparoscopy course, (3) participation in a laparoscopic skills training lab involving six 1-hour sessions on a box trainer, (4) observing and assisting in urologic laparoscopy cases, and (5) participation in a clinical research project (if desired). Six students have completed the elective to date.
Results: Overall satisfaction with the clerkship was high, scoring a mean 5 out of a possible 5 on student evaluations. Intentions for residency training included urology for three, obstetrics-gynecology for one, neurosurgery for one, and plastic surgery for one. There were no changes in desired residencies after completion of the clerkship. Performance on the box trainer improved significantly but did not differ from 14 other students who had completed the laparoscopy training lab but were not enrolled in the elective.
Conclusions: There is substantial interest among medical students in advanced laparoscopic surgery, and it can support a third- or fourth-year clinical clerkship in laparoscopic urology. Student evaluations revealed very high satisfaction. This elective is of benefit to students interested in urology and other surgical specialties.