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A National Curriculum of Fundamental Skills for Plastic Surgery Residency: Report of The Inaugural ACAPS Boot Camp
Edward H. Davidson, MA (Cantab) MBBS1, Jenny Barker, MD2, Francesco M. Egro, MBChB MSc MRCS1, Aleksandra Krajewski, MD1, Jeffrey E. Janis, MD2, Vu T. Nguyen, MD1.
1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 2Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

BACKGROUND: The Inaugural American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) sponsored Plastic Surgery Boot Camp program was developed in response to ongoing changes in graduate medical education. The Boot Camp is a hands-on, practicum-based, three-day course. Objectives are to introduce first-year Plastic Surgery residents, in both the Integrated and Independent tracks, to core concepts in plastic surgery; to provide standardized and timely exposure to critical clinical content in plastic surgery; to provide a level of practical experience regarding these topics and procedures; to establish a low/no-risk educational environment that fosters learning; and to establish a sense of camaraderie amongst participants, building relationships and engendering professional enculturation within our specialty.
METHODS: The course was held July 31 - August 2 2015, on the campus of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The course was free of charge to all programs and participants, excluding travel costs. All course materials, housing, and meals were provided through grant support from industry sponsorship. There were 50 registrants and 45 attendees (37 Integrated / 8 Independent) representing 22 residency programs, across 15 states (~ ¼ of all interns for 2015). Faculty consisted of 8 local and 5 visiting surgeons. Lecture topics covered the full spectrum of plastic surgery (general reconstruction, craniofacial, pediatric, hand, breast, aesthetic) as well as practically-orientated subjects including perioperative management and common on-call consults. Practical sessions included standardized patients, breast examination and surgical markings, hand exam and reductions, hand radiology, casting and splinting, facial nerve blocks, basic craniomaxillofacial plating and wiring, mandible and midface radiology, drawing facial proportions, local flap design, cleft lip markings, cleft palate simulator, and identifying skull shapes. All trainees completed an online survey evaluating the relevance and quality of each didactic and hands-on course components and answered additional questions about the goals and design of the course both during the course and at 6 months. Faculty members were also surveyed.
RESULTS: Participant responses were overwhelmingly positive. For example, a total of 72% of respondents rated the Boot Camp between 8‐10 on a 1‐10 scale where 1 is poor and 10 is excellent for the overall course rating; 79% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that the simulation scenarios were realistic; and 75% of participants agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that they found simulation based training to be a valuable way to teach this material. Respondents reported an increase in comfort and confidence across all topics after attending the Boot Camp at both 0 and 6 month time points. Instructors received positive evaluations across all topics.
CONCLUSIONS: The ACAPS Plastic Surgery Boot Camp helps to ensure accountability for the education of trainees and keep plastic surgery on the forefront of adult surgical education. This successful inaugural course serves as benchmark for development of a logistical blueprint, business plan, and curriculum for a proposed expansion to 6 regional centers, providing access to all plastic surgery Integrated/Independent residents.

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