BACKGROUND: Incorporation of the first postgraduate year of training into neurological surgery residencies in 2009 posed new challenges to neurosurgical educators. A “boot camp” course was held in August 2009 to introduce first year neurosurgical trainees to various fundamental cognitive and practical skills.
OBJECTIVE: The effectiveness of this course was evaluated by electronic survey of all trainees and faculty members.
METHODS: Eighteen trainees entering 5 western neurosurgical residencies (in either the first or second postgraduate year) participated in a course taught by 10 faculty members at a single host institution (Oregon Health & Science University) for 2 days. All trainees completed an online survey evaluating the relevance and quality of each didactic and hands-on course component and answered additional questions about the goals and design of the course. Faculty members were also surveyed.
RESULTS: All trainees thought the course met its goals, provided relevant and useful information and experience, and was likely to improve patient care. In particular, hands-on procedural and operative course components were highly valued.
CONCLUSION: A fundamental skills boot camp course for first year neurosurgical trainees seems valuable.