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Boot Camp for New Surgery Residents

Since 2007, we have conducted a "boot camp" for all PG1 surgery residents to orient, assess and develop new surgical trainee skills at the onset of their residencies.

The 9-week long Boot Camp is conducted at the Baystate Simulation Center and Goldberg Surgical Skills Laboratory, an American College of Surgeons Accredited Level I Comprehensive Education Institute. Eight procedural skills and simulated patient care exercises are taught in weekly 3-hour skill lab sessions by faculty in surgical and medical subspecialty areas, as well as senior residents, nurse educators and simulation faculty.

Hands-on experience in patient care and procedural skills addresses individual and team-based skills in the following ACGME core competencies: medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal communication, professionalism, systems-based practice and introduction to practice-based learning and improvement. Preparatory reading materials, pre-tests, real-time briefing and debriefing, and a final summative post-test with written and hands-on station skills assessments encompass the teaching and evaluation components of the curriculum

Use of bench-top models and high-fidelity human patient simulation:

  • Provides exposure to basic procedural skills and cognitive-based patient care training exercises
  • Orients and guides learners through the basics of fundamental and safe surgical practice
  • Provides exposure to common and uncommon presentations and procedures encountered in surgical patient care
  • Enforces emergency care practices as well as safe care practices and 'survival skills' as required for beginning a surgical residency curriculum
  • Reinforces basic science knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology as well as application of knowledge to procedures required of a surgical resident
  • Allows assessment of need over the course of training, which is utilized for modification of individual curriculum during residency. 

Key topics included in the curriculum:

  • Suturing, knot-tying, instrument handling, tissue manipulation
  • Airway management
  • Needle & tube thoracostomy
  • Central venous access
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills
  • Fundamental laparoscopic surgical skills
  • Assessment & management of volume status and electrolyte disturbances in the perioperative setting
  • Workup & management of adverse reactions in the hospitalized patient
  • Postoperative fever evaluation & management
  • Assessment & management of respiratory distress in the hospitalized patient
  • Assessment & management of cardiopulmonary emergencies (ACLS)
  • Assessment & management of acute traumatic emergencies in the adult (ATLS)
  • Assessment & management of surgical and traumatic emergencies in the geriatric patient
  • Assessment & management of surgical and traumatic emergencies in the pediatric patient
  • Review of radiographs, electrocardiograms and basic diagnostic studies
  • Transitions of care and effective communications with consultants and colleagues
  • Situational awareness and mutual support teamwork

Similar preparatory intensive training has also been used in other departments, including Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology and Obstetrics & Gynecology.