In 2004, the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida implemented a major curriculum innovation called the Transition to Practice program. This program was established to prepare residents to more safely transition to the role of independent practitioner.
A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the program was conducted after its fifth year using online surveys and interviews. Study participants included Transition to Practice graduates, faculty, and current residents.
Of the 26 respondents, 89% of faculty and all graduates were very satisfied with the program. Strengths identified included an independent yet mentored broad operative experience, the development of self-confidence, and a real sense of responsibility for patients. Medical billing and coding instruction and career mentoring were areas of the program that required additional attention.
Overall, this program is meeting the stated objectives and is well received by the graduates and faculty. Based on the results of this evaluation, curricular changes such as instructions in practice management and implementation of a career-mentoring program have occurred. The Transition to Practice program is a unique curricular response to change that other surgical specialties may find useful in addressing the current-day stresses on graduate medical education 1).