Voluntary shadowing program linked to renewed interest in trauma surgery

Despite a steep decline in the number of medical students interested in pursuing critical care surgery, new research shows that the practice of medical students shadowing surgeons can help boost enthusiasm, according to JAMA Surgery. Researchers, led by D. Alex Stroh, M.D., of Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, noted that interest in trauma surgery among students not previously planning on a career in surgery improved after the shadowing experience. However, students who witnessed a patient death for the first time had a decreased interest in trauma surgery. The authors recommend hospitals establish a voluntary overnight shadowing program to increase the likelihood that students will apply to a surgical residency. Abstract