Performing surgery requires special skill.
see Manual skills.
Graduating residents immediately need a host of skills to successfully navigate neurosurgical practice. Surgical and medical skills are closely evaluated through the ABNS, and a formal socioeconomic curriculum has been developed with defined milestones. Nevertheless, little has been done to evaluate neurosurgery resident competence in socioeconomic and medicolegal principles. The purpose of a study of Kessler et al., was to assess the competence of ACGME neurosurgical residents in socioeconomic knowledge.
Neurosurgery resident members of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (N = 1385) were sent a Survey Monkey of 10-questions. The survey covered the most basic of SE principles. Initial survey responses were collected across a one-month period from April to May 2018.
The response rate was 14% (194/1385). Overall, neurosurgery residents would have received a grade of “D,” with an average score of 67% on the survey. For seven of the ten questions, the majority (>50%) of neurosurgery residents answered correctly. Furthermore, for three questions, over 90% of residents selected the correct answer. However, for half of all questions, residents averaged a score of less than 65%. Residents tended to answer questions correctly for physician compensation and compensation models, but incorrectly for topics of informed consent, Controlled Substances Act and conflicts of interest.
With the increasing complexity of neurosurgery practice, solid knowledge of socioeconomic topics is essential. The study confirms suspected deficiencies in socioeconomic proficiency among neurosurgery residents, despite the availability of a validated curriculum. This knowledge gap will likely impact career success and satisfaction. Nevertheless, this survey had a significantly low response rate, and it may be an incomplete representation of the neurosurgical resident mind. Focused educational initiatives through the neurosurgical Residency Review Committee and individual training programs must facilitate an action plan that ensures the effective implementation of socioeconomic curricula 1).