The Value of a Vascular Surgery Curriculum for Clinical Medical Students: Results of a National Survey of Nonvascular Educators

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Vasc Surg


Objectives: Recent data suggest vascular surgeons are interested in shifting toward a standardized clinical curriculum for medical students, but nonvascular medical educators have yet to be queried. We created a targeted needs assessment to determine if nonvascular physicians agree with the utility of this initiative.

Methods: The survey was modeled after the needs assessment conducted by the American College of Surgeons for the development of their core curriculum. The survey was sent to 647 program directors and other medical educators in nonvascular disciplines. The survey collected data regarding the need for a standardized curriculum, essential vascular surgery topics to be included in didactic sessions, and existing aspects of the vascular surgery curriculum at the respondent's institution.

Results: The response rate was 20.7% (134/647). Respondents were diverse in discipline (27.6% internal medicine and 26.2% surgical specialties) and region (South 34.8%, Midwest 34.8, and Northeast 25%). Eighty respondents (70.2%) agreed or strongly agreed that they would be in favor of the creation of a standardized vascular surgery curriculum. Aortic disease, peripheral arterial disease, cerebrovascular disease, and deep venous thrombosis were viewed by the majority of respondents as essential (Figure). Thoracic outlet syndrome, vascular imaging, and hemodialysis access were chosen less often as essential components. One hundred five respondents (92.9%) agreed or strongly agreed that topics in vascular surgery are important for all medical students to learn. Group-based learning and lectures were the most cited methods of delivering a surgical curriculum.

Conclusions: This study identified that nonvascular physicians think it is important for medical students to learn about vascular disease and identified vascular surgery topics that physicians consider essential for all medical students to cover. Our survey suggests a desire for a national curriculum for medical students rotating through vascular surgery—vital information for any curriculum reform led by vascular surgeons in the futur





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