Enhancing the Clinical Skills of Surgical Residents Through Structured Cancer Education

Academic Article


  • 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.
  • Published In

  • Annals of Surgery  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sloan DA; Plymale MA; Donnelly MB; Schwartz RW; Edwards MJ; Bland KI
  • Start Page

  • 561
  • End Page

  • 566
  • Volume

  • 239
  • Issue

  • 4