Impact of Non-Clinical Years on Surgery Residents’ Technical Skills: Evaluation of a Technical Skills Refresher Curriculum


We ascertained the opinions of residents and faculty regarding technical skills decay during non-clinical training years and evaluated the effectiveness of a technical skills refresher curriculum (TSRC) offered to residents in the month prior to rejoining clinical training years. 32 faculty and 14 residents completed surveys which gleaned opinions regarding technical skills decay during non-clinical years. Six residents completed a TSRC during the month prior to rejoining clinical training. We compared clinical evaluations of the residents who completed the TSRC to residents who rejoined clinical training prior to the implementation of the curriculum. Surveys indicated that residents and faculty believe that non-clinical years have a slightly negative impact on technical skills and residents who completed dedicated research years would require up to 4 months for technical skills to return to the level of their non-research peers. Residents who completed the TSRC reported having significantly higher comfort levels with their technical skills after the curriculum (p < 0.048). Clinical evaluations of these residents were significantly higher than the cohort that completed research years prior to curriculum implementation (p < 0.041). The TSRC is a viable method of preparing residents for rejoining clinical training.

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R. Willis, K. Sickle and R. Peterson, "Impact of Non-Clinical Years on Surgery Residents’ Technical Skills: Evaluation of a Technical Skills Refresher Curriculum," Surgical Science, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 131-134. doi: 10.4236/ss.2013.42025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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