Maintaining Effective Senior Resident-Led Intern Education through Virtual Curricular Transition

Katharine E. Caldwell, Annie Hess, Paul E. Wise, Michael M. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant shift to virtual resident education. While novel methods for virtual resident training have been described, many of these demonstrate a substantial change from previous instructional methods and their efficacy cannot be directly compared to in-person teaching. We sought to determine if the conversion of our intern “summer school” from an in-person to online format (a) impacted the knowledge acquisition of interns, and (b) their preferences for senior resident-led didactics. DESIGN: A senior-resident led intern summer curriculum was started in an in-person format with the 2019-2020 academic year. Interns underwent assessments of their knowledge and surveys of changes in subject confidence. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the curriculum was shifted to an online format for the academic year 2020-2021. SETTING: Washington University in St. Louis, an academic medical center located in St. Louis, Missouri PARTICIPANTS: PGY1 general surgery residents during academic year 2019-2020 (n = 13) and 2020-2021 (n = 14). RESULTS: In both years, interns demonstrated significant increases in confidence pre- and post-summer school in all domains (p <0.01). This was no different between the in-person and the virtual administration of the bootcamp (p 0.76). In both virtual and in-person curricula, interns demonstrated increased knowledge as measured by multiple choice, boards-style question quizzes. There were no significant differences between virtual and in-person formats. In both formats, interns reported a preference for senior residents as teachers (81% v. 77%) and increased comfort in asking questions in senior resident-led vs. attending-led didactics (91% v 100%). CONCLUSION: Virtual senior-resident led intern educational sessions are equally as effective as in-person sessions for knowledge acquisition and improving confidence in intern-specific domains. In both virtual and in-person settings, interns prefer senior resident teachers to attendings. Virtual senior resident-led education is an effective and simple method for intern instruction, regardless of the format/approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e112-e120
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • intern “bootcamp”
  • surgical education
  • virtual education


Dive into the research topics of 'Maintaining Effective Senior Resident-Led Intern Education through Virtual Curricular Transition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this