Making Milestones: Development and Implementation of a Formal Socioeconomic Curriculum in a Neurosurgical Residency Training Program

Brett E. Youngerman, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary L. Hickman, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Robert A. Solomon, Deborah L. Benzil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Improved training in the socioeconomic aspects of medicine is a priority of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. There is evidence that young neurosurgeons feel ill equipped in these areas and that additional education would improve patient care. OBJECTIVE: To present our experience with the introduction of a succinct but formal socioeconomic training course to the residency curriculum at our institution. METHODS: A monthly series of twelve 1-hour interactive modules was designed to address the pertinent Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-American Board of Neurological Surgeons outcomes-based educational milestones. Slide-based lectures provided a comprehensive overview of social, legal, and business issues, and a monthly forum for open discussion allowed residents to draw on their applied experience. Residents took a 20-question pre-and postcourse knowledge assessment, as well as feedback surveys at 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: Residents were able to participate in the lectures, with an overall attendance rate of 91%. Residents felt that the course goals and objectives were well defined and communicated (4.88/5) and rated highly the content, quality, and relevance of the lectures (4.94/5). Performance on the knowledge assessment improved from 58% to 66%. CONCLUSION: Our experience demonstrates the feasibility of including a formal socioeconomic course in neurosurgical residency training with positive resident feedback and achievement of outcomes-based milestones. Extension to a 2-year curriculum cycle may allow the course to cover more material without compromising other residency training goals. Online modules should also be explored to allow for wider and more flexible participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-497
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • American Board of Neurological Surgeons
  • Educational milestones
  • Neurosurgery residency
  • Neurosurgery training
  • Socioeconomic curriculum


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