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In many surgical disciplines, the interest among medical students to pursue a surgical career decreases during their medical studies. The same goes for students after graduation. The aim of our cohort study was to evaluate the operating room (OR) experiences of medical students during our curriculum.
Materials and methods
Over the course of one year 217 senior year medical students were included in our study. All of them took part in our training program for senior year medical students, which consisted of a 1-week clinical rotation including visits to the OR. We developed a Likert-scaled questionnaire, which was evaluated anonymously; free text answers were also possible.
Prior to the analysis of the sex and age differences, we confirmed that the evaluation scale provided a coherent measure of the OR evaluation. As a first proxy, we conducted a series of Spearman correlations which revealed high intercorrelations between all of the six items of the questionnaire, r(154) = 0.53 to r(154) = 0.94, all p < 0.001. These high intercorrelations transferred into a very high consistency of the six questions that evaluate the OR teaching; Cronbach’s α = 0.95. There was no main effect of sex, F (1,146) = 2.19, p = 0.141. However, there was a main effect of age, F (2,146) = 3.75, p = 0.026, indicating that older participants evaluated the OR teaching more positively. Finally, there was no correlation between sex and age group, F (2,146) < 1, indicating that the effect of age on the evaluation score was equally pronounced for female and male participants.
The aim of this study was to answer the question how mentored OR teaching during the orthopedic trauma curriculum is evaluated by medical students, and whether there are gender-specific differences. For this purpose we prospectively evaluated senior year medical students over a period of 12 months during the orthopedic trauma curriculum with questionnaires. The medical students rated the mentored OR visits mainly positive.
Previously published literature as well as our presented data indicate that the interest of medical students in starting a surgical career can only be increased if negative influencing factors are reduced. This includes especially positive communication with medical students and in daily professional interaction.