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Protected Block Surgical Resident Course Effective

Improves knowledge, communication and surgical skills

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A course given to surgical residents in their first and second years during protected time away from clinical duties is effective in improving knowledge, communication and surgical skills, according to an article published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery.

Travis P. Webb, M.D., and colleagues from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee assessed learning among eight surgical residents in post-graduate year (PGY)-1 and PGY-2 after implementation of a curriculum to instill the six core competencies required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education given during protected time away from clinical duties. The control group consisted of eight surgical residents in PGY-3 who did not participate in the curriculum.

After two years of the program, the investigators found that knowledge significantly improved, with aggregated mean scores increasing from 57.5 to 71.4 percent in PGY-1 residents and 58.6 to 72.6 percent in PGY-2 residents. The average scores were 76.7 percent for residents participating in the curriculum, 56.9 percent for residents not participating, and 57.3 percent for all residents, the researchers report. Residents participating in the curriculum showed improvements in communication and surgical skills, the authors note.

"A protected block curriculum enhanced surgical residents' learning compared with a traditional model," Webb and colleagues conclude.

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