Distance Learning for Medical Students without a Neurosurgery Interest Group

Nathan A. Shlobin*, Michael W. Kortz, Ryan E. Radwanski, Nader S. Dahdaleh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Interest groups for medical students (MSs) facilitate interest and engagement in neurosurgery. Students without interest groups are at a disadvantage as a result of greater barriers to exposure. We aimed to compare the usefulness of a virtual neurosurgery training camp for MSs with and without interest groups. Methods: A survey assessing demographics, interests, and ratings of informativeness and usefulness was sent to attendees of virtual neurosurgery training camps. Ratings were quantified on modified 7-point Likert scales. Data were compared between respondents with and without neurosurgery interest groups. Results: Students without an interest group were less likely to be MS1/MS2 (P = 0.0007) and more likely to be postdoctoral students (P = 0.0017). Students without an interest group were less likely to list breakout sessions as their primary reason for attendance (P = 0.0007), more likely to rate the resident panel as most useful (P = 0.0429), and less likely to rate the breakout session as most useful (P = 0.0231). Students without interest groups reported greater increases in interest in neurosurgery in general (P = 0.0284) and subspecialties of spine (P = 0.0003), peripheral nerve (P = 0.0054), and pediatric (P = 0.0137). There was no difference in willingness to pursue a neurosurgical career (P = 0.06), likelihood of taking a year off during medical school (P = 0.45), or preparedness for subinternships (P = 0.18) or residency application process (P = 0.43). Conclusions: Distance learning increases both general and subspecialty-specific interest in neurosurgery among MSs without neurosurgery interest groups to a greater degree than among those with interest groups. Future initiatives seeking to benefit students without home programs should address the specific concerns of these students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204.e8
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Neurosurgery education
  • Online medical student education
  • Virtual medical student education
  • Virtual neurosurgery training camp
  • Webinar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Distance Learning for Medical Students without a Neurosurgery Interest Group'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this