Posted: November 4, 2016

Increasing Medical Student Interest in Surgery: A Pre-Clinical "Summer in Surgery" Program


National trends have shown decreasing entry rates of students into general surgery and increasing threats of surgeon shortages (1-2). Due to the craft nature of the surgical profession, early exposure to mentors and career opportunities are critical for informed decision-making, yet medical school curricula typically limit surgical experiences to the third or fourth years (3-5). In order to provide an earlier surgical experience, we created and implemented an innovative "Summer in Surgery" (SIS) preclinical program for 1st year medical students (M1s). Initial results of the SIS program are consistent with findings from a recent systematic review which showed students highly value opportunities to be actively involved in the OR as a team member, and the importance of early exposure/interaction with surgery faculty members (3). Given limited ability to expand offerings in the undergraduate medical education curriculum in most schools, a similar program such as the one described here may be easily transferable to other schools/disciplines.

*Presented at Learn Serve Lead 2016


General Surgery, Preclinical, LSL 2016, Career Choice


Carol Thrush, EdD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Frederick Bentley, MD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Mary Katherine Kimbrough, MD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Matthew Smeds, MD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences