The TSDA Prerequisite Curriculum Committee has successfully developed the content for a didactic curriculum to be mastered by the residents before their matriculation in a thoracic surgical residency program. In addition the committee assembled an innovative electronic format consisting of a CD-ROM Internet Hybrid to teach this curricular material. By use of a serialized CD-ROM Internet Hybrid it is possible to store relatively dense high bandwidth portions of the curriculum including video and audio materials on the CD-ROM and yet allow constant updating and interaction of the other portions of the curriculum. In addition, it is possible to track the performance and utilization by the residents during the entire course of their residency program. By studying the relationship between the utilization of the curriculum, particularly as it relates to certain subject areas, and comparing that to performance or standardized examinations as well as other measurements of resident satisfaction, the efficacy of the prerequisite curriculum will be tracked during the upcoming years. It is anticipated that the process of developing the content of the prerequisite curriculum will allow the residents and program directors to focus on the subject material currently deemed necessary for successful initiation of a thoracic surgery residency, and that by keeping this subject material outline up-to-date, the changing spectrum of what we anticipate our residents will know at the time of their matriculation will continue to mature. Although electronic-based education has been available for a number of years, a prospective randomized study comparing it with traditional textbook-based learning is novel. Multiple attempts have been made to implement Web-based or CD-ROM-based educational tools in other specialties with variable results [20-34]. It is our anticipation that successful completion of this project will not only allow for the use of an innovative highly technical means of education for our residents but may in turn become broadly applicable to many other types of educational projects within thoracic surgery education. This may also be applicable to other types of educational projects in the postgraduate education industry and other venues as well. The conduct of a scientific study monitoring the impact of this curriculum project as well as the acceptance of the project by the resident is also relatively unique and will be scrutinized by numerous professional medical and educational groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine