Oral Themed Presentation
Boot Camp for Trainees: Not Just about Skill Acquisition
Tuesday, May 15
11:00 - 12:30
Location: Jupiter 1&2
Background: : Many residency and fellowship programs have developed simulation-based boot camps to help trainees learn and practice critical skills associated with new roles and responsibilities. Boot camps have been evaluated by fellows as an effective way to learn, to improve self-confidence and to prepare for new responsibilities. A recent meta-analysis showed marked improvements in clinical skill performance, knowledge, and learner confidence after participation in boot camp. However, studies do not specifically explore how participation in boot camp led to these outcomes or other potential impacts boot camp may have on learners. We developed a qualitative study in order to evaluate these questions.
Research Question: : To determine the impact of the boot camp experience on first year neonatology fellows and to determine specific elements of boot camp that lead to desirable outcomes.
Methodology: : This qualitative study uses a phenomenological approach to try and understand fellows’ experience of boot camp. IRB approval was obtained. Semi-structured phone interviews are conducted with first-year neonatology fellows after they attend the Regional Neonatology Boot Camp. The interview questions focus on the fellows’ experience of boot camp and effect on transition into fellowship. Interviews are transcribed and individually coded for themes. The authors then compare and revise the coding categories until consensus is reached.
Results: : At present, we have interviewed 10 fellows, representing 7 programs. Analysis yielded 47 codes, refined into 8 themes. The themes highlight the fellows’ process of professional identity formation. The major themes include: 1. Acquisition of skills (“During my second call, I had to needle a chest and I remembered doing it at boot camp and it was comforting”), 2. Anticipation of starting fellowship (“I was afraid that people weren’t going to think I was smart enough or good enough”), 3. Boot camp as a shared experience (“We know everyone’s in the same boat and everyone’s nervous), 4. Gaining understanding of the fellow role (“Boot camp helped you realize that now it’s you, you should be running that scenario”), and 5. Building confidence (“It made me feel more confident, like by the end of boot camp I was like ok, I know this, we are prepared). Specific elements of boot camp reported to lead to desirable outcomes included its realistic environment, supportive nature of faculty, and the feeling of camaraderie with other new fellows.
Discussion/Conclusions: : This study explores the impact of boot camp on fellows’ transition into fellowship. Our findings suggest that participation in boot camp is instrumental in facilitating fellows’ professional identity formation by allowing them to explore their new roles, engage with others, and build their confidence. Developing a strong professional identity prior to entering clinical work is a crucial and necessary step in transitioning into fellowship, as this may have a lasting effect on fellows’ social, emotional, and cognitive well-being during and after fellowship. We conclude that curriculum design for simulation-based boot camps for trainees should incorporate elements that facilitate the process of professional identity formation.
Kesi Yang, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Anne Ades, MD, MSEd
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Catherine Allan, MD
Associate Program Director - Simulator Program
Boston Children's Hospital