Template for a program tailored ACS/APDS phase 1 curriculum: From needs assessment to implementation

Shawn M. Purnell, Barbara L. Bass, Benjamin Benavides, Sylvia Martinez, Sara G. McNeil, Karen J. Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The Phase 1 ACS/APDS skills curriculum standardizes intern training. Despite this, institutional implementation varies and is nationally low. We aimed to use Kern's six-steps to tailor this to our program, providing a framework to improve implementation. Methods: Problem identification and general needs assessment were performed. Targeted needs assessment (TNA) of incoming interns (‘interns’), current residents, and attendings determined perceived importance of skills and intern's previous experience and confidence. Educational strategies were developed. Learner knowledge was assessed before and after modules, deficiencies identified enabled employment of active learning strategies. Modular and curricular evaluations were completed. Results: TNA determined all interns had been taught knot tying and suturing, and were most confident with suturing, knot tying, and urethral catheterization. Educational strategies included simulation and lectures. Evaluations demonstrated improvement in test scores (pre-v post-) and skills confidence on curricula completion. Conclusion: Our framework utilizes institutional resources and expertise while focusing on determining existing knowledge, skill, and technical deficiencies of learners. This approach demonstrated improvement in knowledge and confidence, and could improve implementation rates of the Phase 1 curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Curriculum
  • Intern
  • Resident
  • Simulation
  • Skills
  • Surgery residency
  • Clinical Competence
  • Internship and Residency
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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