Virtual Neurosurgery Education for Medical Students without Home Residency Programs: A Survey of 2020 Virtual Neurosurgery Training Camp Attendees

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World Neurosurgery




OBJECTIVE: To examine the perceived effectiveness of the virtual neurosurgery training camps (VNTC) among medical students with (HP) and without (NHP) home neurosurgery residency programs.

METHODS: A survey assessing demographics, baseline interests, and ratings of usefulness and interest of programming was sent to attendees after the VNTC. Ratings were quantified on modified 7-point Likert scales. Ratings were compared between attendees HP and NHP neurosurgery residency programs using Wilcoxon sum-rank or χ

RESULTS: There were 119 respondents, with 80 (67.2%) HP and 39 (32.8%) NHP students. Differences were observed between the groups for medical school type (P = 0.002), highest degree achieved (P = 0.030), previous participation in a Medical Student Neurosurgery Training Center event (P = 0.004), having a neurosurgery interest group (P < 0.001), and primary reason for VNTC attendance (P = 0.028). Increased interest in peripheral nerve neurosurgery was greater for the NHP (P = 0.047) but not neurosurgery or other subspecialties. A significant difference in usefulness of the different VNTC sessions was observed (P = 0.002), whereas none was seen in willingness to pursue neurosurgery (P = 0.33), likelihood of taking a year off (P = 0.44), and preparedness for subinternships (P = 0.57) or applications (P = 0.77).

CONCLUSIONS: The 2020 VNTC benefited both HPO and NHP medical students, but there were differences in perceived usefulness of virtual education. Future initiatives should continue to be tailored toward disadvantaged students.