University of Vermont

Senior Medical Students Prepare for Surgical Residency

Associate Professor of Surgery and Surgery Clerkship Director Ted James, M.D.
Associate Professor of Surgery and Surgery Clerkship Director Ted James, M.D., works with senior surgery major medical students in UVM’s Clinical Simulation Laboratory in March. (Photo by Raj Chawla, UVM Medical Photography)

An intensive month-long training curriculum designed by Ted James, M.D., associate professor of surgery and director of the surgery clerkship at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, provided 14 UVM senior medical students with a leg up on the skills they will need during surgical residency following graduation.

Nicknamed “boot camp,” the training was held Monday through Friday during the month of March in the Clinical Simulation Laboratory. The curriculum covered hands-on skills training in areas such as suturing, laparoscopy, and central line placement, and featured simulation sessions, including trauma resuscitation, as well as education about safety in the operating room, medication safety, communication skills and professionalism. James employs a variety of teaching formats – classroom discussions, standardized patient scenarios, and simulation-based learning sessions – to ensure students gain the skills they will rely on as residents.

 “This sort of training has gained national attention as the need for improved residency preparation has been realized,” explains James. “The purpose of the program is to provide the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for optimal patient care, patient safety, and quality.”

The course, which will be held annually, includes a series of assessments and evaluations to confirm students’ proficiency in each area of the curriculum.