REACT: A Pre-Clerkship Bootcamp to Improve Student Knowledge and Interest in Critical Care Specialties
CCCF ePoster library. Battaglia F. 11/12/19; 283431; EP59 Disclosure(s)(s): No disclosures
Mr. Frank Battaglia
Mr. Frank Battaglia
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Topic: Education

Ghossein, Jamie1*; Sethuraman, Shankar1*; Battaglia, Frank1*; Manhas, Neraj1*; Rastogi, Nikhil1
1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
*These authors contributed equally to this work.


Given the increasingly competitive process of entering a Canadian residency program in critical care specialties and limited exposure to these disciplines in the pre-clerkship curriculum, a one-week critical care career exploration boot camp for pre-clerkship students was implemented. The program was modeled on similar, well-established career exploration programs for surgical and internal medicine specialties.


1. Increase pre-clerkship students' self-perceived knowledge and interest in critical care specialties.

2. Assess confidence in career planning and self-development in program participants.

3. Increase self-perceived knowledge and confidence in performing skills tailored to individual critical care specialties in a simulation environment.


Pre-clerkship students at the University of Ottawa were selected to participate in a five-day career exploration camp for specialties related to critical care, which included radiology, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, critical (intensive) care and trauma surgery (REACT). REACT is a pilot program providing a combination of observerships, informal career discussions, and hands-on simulation across the selected acute care specialties. Skills were tailored to individual specialties and included ACLS, central line insertion, airway management, point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) and chest tube insertion. 

This prospective cohort study evaluated the effectiveness of the REACT program in improving critical care knowledge and facilitating career decision making when compared with a control group that did not participate in the program. At baseline and completion, students completed a survey assessing interest and self-perceived knowledge of each specialty as well as critical care overall, and self-perceived knowledge and confidence of the simulated skills. Chi-square tests were performed to identify the demographic differences. Equality of variances were measured, which showed most measures were parametric. Of the measures which were not, the means were corrected in the results via nonparametric analyses. Independent samples t-tests compared differences in means between control and REACT groups. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare differences between pre-test and post-test means for both control and REACT groups.


29 pre-clerkship students were recruited as part of our study, 15 of which participated in the REACT program, and 14 were the control group. There were no significant differences in baseline demographic parameters. No significant differences in baseline study outcomes were noted between the study arms, with the exception of confidence in performing a chest tube insertion which was higher in the REACT group (p=0.046). Interest in critical care, self-perceived knowledge of each individual specialty, as well as self-perceived knowledge and confidence in performing simulated skills were significantly higher following the REACT program amongst students who participated in the program (p<0.05). No statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-program survey results were noted for the control group.


The REACT program was effective in increasing interest in critical care specialties, as well as self-perceived knowledge of careers and skills related to critical care. This program can be expanded to other medical schools in order to expose medical students earlier to critical care and inform them of these increasingly competitive specialties.

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