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J Surg Educ ; 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095711


OBJECTIVE: The abrupt cessation of in-person education due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for preclerkship students to explore a career in surgery. To supplement the lack of exposure, the Surgical Exploration and Discovery (SEAD) program was transitioned to an entirely virtual format. This study aims to describe the virtual SEAD program and evaluate its effectiveness as a career decision-making (CDM) intervention. DESIGN: The week-long program was delivered on Microsoft Teams, featured 11 surgical specialties, and comprised four activities: live demonstrations, virtual operating room observerships, career talks, and technical skills workshops. The program was evaluated using the four levels of the Kirkpatrick model: (1) reactions, (2) knowledge, (3) CDM behaviors - assessed using the Career Decision-making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ) - and (4) results. The latter was indirectly assessed using CDDQ scores from an in-person SEAD program, where lower CDDQ scores indicate less difficulty with CDM. SETTING: Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. PARTICIPANTS: Forty pre-clerkship students (27 first and 13 second year students) at the University of Ottawa RESULTS: Level 1: 97.5% of participants rated the program as good or very good. Live demonstration and technical skills workshops were the highest rated activities. Level 2: participants' scores on knowledge-based questions about a surgical career significantly increased following the program (pre: 9/25 vs post: 15/25, p = 0.008). Level 3: overall mean CDDQ scores (±SD) decreased difficulties with significantly following the program (pre: 45.6 ± 10.5 vs post: 38.8 ± 10.9, p < 0.001), which indicates decreased CDM difficulties. Level 4: Except for one sub-category, the difference in mean CDDQ scores between the virtual and in-person programs were not significantly different. CONCLUSION: The program received the positive reactions and significantly increased participants' knowledge. The change in CDDQ scores following the virtual program suggests it may reduce career decision-making difficulties in the short-term. In-person surgical exposure remains important; however, a hybrid model may be valuable in resource limited settings. WC: 300.

Can Urol Assoc J ; 16(6): 206-211, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1876048


INTRODUCTION: Given restrictions on electives outside of medical students' home institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the objective of this study was to create a novel recruitment strategy for the University of Ottawa's (uOttawa) urology residency program. METHODS: A steering committee was formed and created a three-part recruitment strategy that included a new uOttawa urology website, a residency program social media campaign (Twitter and Instagram), and a virtual open house (VOH). Descriptive data from the website and Instagram and Twitter accounts were collected. Attendees of the VOH completed a mixed-methods survey, which collected quantitative and qualitive responses assessing aspects of the VOH and virtual resource use. RESULTS: From August 1 to December 31, 2020, the uOttawa urology website had 1707 visits. The Twitter account had a total of 29 000 views with 1000-5000 views per tweet. Thirty-one candidates attended the VOH. Survey responders reported that the most frequently used resources to gain knowledge of the program were the website (81%) and Twitter account (71%). The most helpful and informative resources were the uOttawa urology website, the VOH, and direct conversations with residents arranged through the website. Despite not having completed an elective, 26 students (84%) felt they had an understanding of what it might feel like to train in the program. Suggestions by students for future initiatives included one-on-one virtual meetings, another VOH, and more information on selection processes. CONCLUSIONS: A multifaceted, virtual recruitment strategy can be implemented to improve candidate understanding and engagement with residency programs while visiting elective opportunities remain limited.