Senior Medical Student "Boot Camp": Can Result in Increased Self-Confidence Before Starting Surgery Internships

Robert M. Esterl, David L. Henzi, Stephen M. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Objective: Surgical residents often begin the internship without prerequisite skills necessary for appropriate patient care. The purpose of this study was to develop a surgical internship readiness elective or senior medical student (SMS) "Boot Camp" for fourth-year medical students to prepare them for the rigors of surgery internship. Design: Sixteen fourth-year medical students completed a series of clinical and didactic sessions over a 4-week elective. Students evaluated the effectiveness of the elective with a pre- and post-survey that focused on confidence levels in 4 areas: anatomic dissection, administrative skills, technical skills, and patient management. Students also participated in a focus group session that identified strengths and weaknesses of the elective. Students were also assessed on performance by anesthesiology faculty in the mock patient code and by nursing faculty in mock nursing page sessions. Results: Upon completion of the elective, students rated themselves as more confident in all 57 categories on the survey. During the focus group session, students identified several strengths of the elective and offered recommendations for improvements in the elective. Conclusion: The SMS "Boot Camp" gave fourth-year medical students confidence and an opportunity to develop necessary prerequisite skills to begin the surgery internship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-268
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


  • elective
  • internship
  • medical students
  • readiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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