P072: ASSESSING THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF A ONE-WEEK PRECEPTORSHIP ON THE PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES OF MEDICAL STUDENTS TOWARD ANESTHESIOLOGY
Tyler D Craig, MD, Cynthia Wilson Garvan, PhD, MA, M. Anthony Cometa, MD; University of Florida College of Medicine
Introduction/Background: Preceptorships and shadowing experiences are opportunities for medical students to gain exposure to various specialties in medicine. In the pre-clinical years, these experiences can help students decide if they would like to pursue further clinical electives or possibly a career in a certain specialty1. In a previous study, one institution developed a month-long summer clinical rotation for students between their first and second year of medical school. Students who enrolled in the elective felt that they had a better grasp of an anesthesiologist’s role and where able to learn basic medical procedures2.
At the University of Florida, one-week preceptorships have been integrated into the preclinical years of the medical school curriculum. The Department of Anesthesiology offered a one-week preceptorship course to second year students. Unlike the month-long course mentioned in the study above, a one-week preceptorship week is not long enough to adequately cover the basics of anesthesiology; however, it may be enough time to pique students’ interests in pursuing further anesthesiology electives later and possibly a career in the field. We desired to assess the impact of the experience.
Methods: Eight students were enrolled in a one-week preceptorship course in the Fall of 2018. Students were asked to complete an anonymous online survey prior to the start of their preceptorship. The surveys consist of open-ended questions and then a series of Likert-scale questions to ascertain students’ perceptions of anesthesiology as well as their anticipated experiences during the rotation. At the conclusion of the course, a follow-up survey was sent with similar questions to evaluate how the course impacted their attitudes toward anesthesiology.
Results: Overall, students indicated that they had a favorable experience on the rotation and came away with a better understanding of what anesthesiologists did as well as the differences between the field’s various subspecialties. Students also reported that they had a better grasp of roles and expectations in the operating room. Finally, at least two of the students desired to learn more about anesthesiology after the experience.
Discussion/Conclusion: For medical schools with limited elective time in anesthesiology, using a one-week preceptorship may be a valuable career tool for students. The experience helped students feel more comfortable in the OR and gave them a glimpse into a field that many medical students are not exposed to until their fourth year of school. At least two of the participants expressed interest in pursuing anesthesiology in the future. A follow-up survey will be sent to students at six and twelve months to assess how their interests have changed and whether or not they registered for more elective anesthesiology courses.
1. Stagg P, Prideaux D, Greenhill J, Sweet L. Are medical students influenced by preceptors in making career choices, and if so how? A systematic review. Rural Remote Health. 2012;12:1832.
2. Serafini M, Palmer E. An Innovative Model for Preclinical Exposure: West Virginia University Externship in Anesthesia. J Educ Perioper Med. 2013;15(1):E065-E065.