The surgical council on resident education developed an online competency-based self-study curriculum for general surgery residency trainees. Vascular surgery trainees are yet to have a similarly validated and readily accessible self-study curriculum. We sought to determine the effect of an interactive online vascular surgery curriculum on trainee knowledge and interest in vascular surgery.Over 15 months, 53 trainees (36 medical students and 16 surgical residents) performing a vascular surgery rotation were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, 2-cohort study. Before starting a 4-week rotation, trainee baseline demographics were collected, and a pretest was administered to evaluate baseline vascular surgery knowledge. During the same study period, 31 trainees (GROUP 1) were randomized to an interactive online curriculum with weekly reading assignments, and 21 trainees (GROUP 2) did not have access to the online curriculum. At the conclusion, all trainees received a posttest and survey to evaluate any change in vascular surgery knowledge and interest.Although 26.8% of trainees predicted that online computer modules would be a beneficial learning tool, most of trainees indicated textbook reading and case discussions are preferred. Analysis of GROUPS 1 and 2 revealed no significant differences in the average trainee age, training level, sex, or number of surgical cases observed during the rotation. Improvement in vascular surgery knowledge in GROUP 1 was significantly higher compared to GROUP 2 (average increase in posttest scores of 16.1% vs 6.6%, p = 0.009). New interest in vascular surgery was increased by 22.2% in GROUP 1, but was decreased by 40% in GROUP 2 (p < 0.001).Basic vascular surgery principles can be efficiently introduced through an interactive online curriculum. This type of self-study can improve trainee knowledge, and foster interest in vascular surgery. As in other specialties, a standardized and validated online vascular surgery curriculum should be developed for emerging trainees.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.09.003
View details for PubMedID 27727138