An Analysis of the Fourth Year of Medical School for Students Pursuing Surgical Careers

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A fourth-year curriculum survey was forwarded to surgery resident program directors, clerkship directors, and residents. A 37 percent response rate was achieved with comparable representation of each respondent type from 130 institutions. The purpose of the survey was to determine how each of the 3 respondent types rated the importance of 42 subjects or clinical experiences to be taken in the fourth year of medical school for students pursuing surgical careers. The survey also included questions on such issues as externships, early match programs, and guidelines used at their institutions for their fourth year students.

The results indicated a significantly high agreement among respondent types on what should comprise surgical students' fourth-year curriculum content. The majority feel the fourth year should be planned by students with an electives advisor to equally add breadth to their general professional education as well as provide prerequisite experiences in the career-chosen discipline.



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