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Fundamental Skills for Entering Neurosurgery Residents: Report of a Pacific Region Boot Camp Pilot Course, 2009

Selden, Nathan R MD, PhD*; Barbaro, Nicholas MD†; Origitano, Thomas C MD, PhD‡; Burchiel, Kim J MD*

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182077969
Special Article

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.

*Department of Neurological Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon; †Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California; ‡Department of Neurological Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois

Received, February 26, 2010.

Accepted, May 6, 2010.

Correspondence: Nathan R. Selden, MD, PhD, Neurological Surgery, CH8N, Oregon Health & Science University, 3303 SW Bond Avenue, Portland, OR 97239. E-mail:

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons