The study, published in the June issue of American Surgeon, points to a powerful, but often overlooked, tool for influencing students' attitudes about their surgical training in school.
Peter Ehrlich, M.D., MSc., an associate professor of pediatric surgery at the U-M Medical School, and colleagues found that the quality of the student-teacher interaction was the main reason behind a positive experience during the clinical training portion of the curriculum.
"What I really learned from this study is that what students wanted 20 or 30 years ago and still want today is for instructors to interact with them. Even with all the modern day technology in teaching tools, nothing can replace face-to-face contact," says Ehrlich.
Students were more likely to recommend a rotation to other students and enjoyed their experience more if an instructor spent time with them, challenged them to think, provided useful feedback, and had a positive attitude toward students and teaching.
"It didn't matter if subjects were male or female, or if they had any previous career interests in surgery; what really made the difference was whether teachers spent time with them," says Ehrlich.
The study also found that students listed medicine and surgical subspecialties as their most common career interests and one quarter of the participants had a pre-existing interest in surgery. According to Ehrlich, this stresses the importance of clinical training in attracting students to a surgical career, since there is a sizable pool of potential surgeons.
Another interesting finding was that males were four times more likely to have a prior interest in surgery than females. According to previous studies conducted by other groups, one influence on a female student's choice of specialty may be that women experience more gender discrimination and sexual harassment during undergraduate education.
"Surgery is still a male-dominated profession, and this should also be addressed," says Ehrlich, "The surgical and clinical experiences in medical school must be monitored carefully to ensure that half the potential pool of future surgeons is not turned off by a surgical career."
During the study, 113 students at the West Virginia University School of Medicine completed a 27-question survey to evaluate their experience after clinical training. They had nine surgical areas to pick from and each student trained in four of these for a total of 452 surveys.
The questionnaire was surgery-specific and included questions about general surgical tasks, demographic information, students' pre-existing interests, and subjective and objective questions about various components of being a surgeon and the student-teacher interaction. In addition, they had to evaluate the teacher.
Ehrlich created the survey because he felt that a better review of the quality of education was needed. Currently, students take surveys a year or more after their clinical experience and the questions are broad and generic. These evaluations are often used to influence promotions, tenure, and important changes to the curriculum.
"We always get evaluations from students about teaching, but a year or two after their clinical training, and there's no difference between the surveys for different areas of clinical training. I felt this made them fairly meaningless," says Ehrlich.
Ehrlich, who also teaches surgery to medical students, believes that instructors who take an interest in students and their educational needs can really influence career choices.
"When you find a teacher who really turns you on to a particular field, that's what you end up doing. I had a teacher in medical school who really made an impression on me and he's one of the main reasons I'm a pediatric surgeon today."
Rossitza Iordanova | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences