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Context: Limited opportunities exist to practice technical skills and to be exposed to various surgical specialties during preclinical medical education.

Objectives: To assess the value of workshop-based educational opportunities to medical students during preclinical training.

Methods: One hundred and 75 medical and physician assistant students from 10 medical schools attended the 2019 Philadelphia Surgery Conference. All students received STOP THE BLEED® bleeding control training and participated in four workshops, chosen from a list of 23, that demonstrated a variety of surgical skills. Data collection was accomplished using both a pre- and postconference survey to assess changes in confidence of personal capabilities, knowledge base, and opinions regarding preclinical medical training.

Results: Preconference survey results indicated low baseline confidence in personal surgical skills (mean [SD], 1.9 [1.0], on a Likert scale of 1-5), and knowledge of various surgical specialties (2.7 [1.0]). Students highly valued skill-building experiences (mean [SD], 4.2 [1.1]) and face-to-face interactions with resident and attending physicians (4.4 [0.9]). Postconference survey analysis demonstrated increased confidence in surgical ability by 52.6% (mean [SD], 2.9 [1.0]; p<0.001) and knowledge base by 34.6% (3.5 [0.8]; p<0.001). Value scores increased for both preclinical surgical skill-building opportunities (mean [SD], 4.4 [0.9]; p=0.014) and interactions with resident and attending physicians (4.7 [0.6]; p=0.002).

Conclusions: The Philadelphia Surgery Conference provided a highly valuable experience to participating students, increasing confidence in personal knowledge base and surgical skills while facilitating a collaboration between students and resident and attending physicians from various surgical specialties.

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Journal of the American Osteopathic Association





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This article was published in Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Volume 121, Issue 3, pages 271-280.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2020 Luke DiPasquale et al., published by De Gruyter. CC BY 4.0.