Enhancing the Clinical Skills of Surgical Residents Through Structured Cancer Education

David A. Sloan, Margaret A. Plymale, Michael B. Donnelly, Richard W. Schwartz, Michael J. Edwards, Kirby I. Bland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the short and long-term educational value of a highly structured, interactive Breast Cancer Structured Clinical Instruction Module (BCSCIM). Summary Background Data: Cancer education for surgical residents is generally unstructured, particularly when compared with surgical curricula like the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course. Methods: Forty-eight surgical residents were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. Two of the groups received the BCSCIM and 2 served as controls. One of the BCSCIM groups and 1 of the control groups were administered an 11-problem Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) immediately after the workshop; the other 2 groups were tested with the same OSCE 8 months later. The course was an intensive multidisciplinary, multistation workshop where residents rotated in pairs from station to station interacting with expert faculty members and breast cancer patients. Results: Residents who took the BCSCIM outperformed the residents in the control groups for each of the 7 performance measures at both the immediate and 8-month test times (P < 0.01). Although the residents who took the BCSCIM had higher competence ratings than the residents in the control groups, there was a decline in the faculty ratings of resident competence from the immediate test to the 8-month test (P < 0.004). Conclusions: This interactive patient-based workshop was associated with objective evidence of educational benefit as determined by a unique method of outcome assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-566
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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