Development and Evaluation of the Advanced Trauma Operative Management Course

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Background The Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) course was developed as a model for teaching operative trauma techniques to surgical residents, fellows, and attending surgeons as the number of these cases decreases.Methods The ATOM course consists of lectures and a porcine operative experience. Comprehensive evaluation of ATOM was designed to assess participant learning in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. Data on the first 50 participants were prospectively collected and analyzed.Results Participants included 20 expert traumatologists, 9 general surgeons, 9 trauma fellows, 8 general surgery fifth-year residents, and 4 general surgery fourth-year residents. All groups showed improvement in knowledge, with results in the expert and fellow groups reaching statistical significance. Self-efficacy (self-confidence) also improved, with all groups reaching statistical significance.Conclusion This course creates life-like situations in a standardized fashion that, along with didactic instruction, improves knowledge and operative confidence for practicing surgeons and surgeons-in-training.

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