Background: Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of Vascular Surgery Educational Courses (VSEC) provided by academic institutions, regional and national vascular surgical societies, as well as industry partners. Each course has its own curriculum and how these curricula align with the modern needs of vascular surgery trainees are unclear. As such, there is a lack of unified content, syllabus, and trainee evaluations/feedback of these courses. The Education Committee for the Association for Program directors in Vascular Surgery (APDVS) was tasked to survey vascular surgery Program directors (PDs) and Associate Program directors (APDs) across the country to investigate the educational value, utility, and feedback provided from these VSEC. Methods: A comprehensive list of vascular surgery educational courses across the country was generated. A 21-question survey was constructed and forwarded to all members of APDVS. The survey was directed at obtaining data from the vascular surgery program director/associate program directors about their understanding of the VSEC and what they valued as critical for their trainees. In addition, we sought to gauge the feedback provided by these courses to the vascular surgery trainees, and their PD/APDs. Results: The survey was sent to 170 active members of APDVS with an overall response rate of 41%. The majority of the respondents 57 (81%) were PDs. Of all the PD/APDs, 5 (7%) reported that they knew of less than 5 such programs, 26 (37%) reported knowledge of 6–10 courses, 20 (29%) reported 11–20 courses, and 19 (27%) reported knowing more than 20 such programs. 49 (70%) of those surveyed reported that their trainees benefit from these courses. Statisticallysignificant factors impacting the decision to make adjustments to the individual training program included PGY-5 residents attending the educational courses, feedback from VSEC, and positive feedback from trainees attending the courses (all P < 0.05). When asked about their wants of VSEC, 35% desired mock oral exams, and 31% looked for cadaver dissections. Of the 24 PD/APD's who made adjustments to their program based on the feedback from the educational programs, those who held the title for 5–10 years were the most willing to make any changes 13 (54%), and those with more than ten years of experience 2 (8%), were the least willing to make any changes (P < 0.05). The majority of the PD/APDs 32 (46%) felt that the regional societal meetings are the best place to hold educational courses. 38 (55%) of PD/APD's received no feedback from the VSEC course directors. 41 (59%) of the programs provide some financial support for their trainees to attend these courses and 65 (92%) of the PD/APDs suggest that industry partners should provide the financial support for attending VSEC. Conclusions: This unique survey explores the attitude of vascular surgery educators about outside vascular surgery educational courses offered by various groups and industry. It is important to create standardized curricula for vascular surgery educational courses with collaborative oversight by educational/simulation key opinion leaders, PD/APD's, course directors and industry partners. Exploring benchmarks for standardization of the curricula offered by these outside educational opportunities would streamline the needs of our vascular surgery trainees and minimize time away from home institutions. Feedback identifying vascular trainees’ strengths and areas for improvement to PD/APDs would be of great educational value and is currently a missed opportunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine