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The Internship Preparation Camp at the University of Maryland
  1. Laura J Bontempo1,
  2. Neda Frayha2,
  3. Philip C Dittmar2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laura J Bontempo, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 110 S. Paca Street, 6th Floor, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA; lbontempo{at}


Background Specialty-specific ‘boot camps’ boost the competence and confidence of medical school graduates as they prepare to enter a residency programme.

Objective We sought to evaluate the efficacy of a specialty-neutral Internship Preparation Camp (IPC) that we developed and made available to senior medical students at our medical school. The primary goal of the IPC is to educate students in the cognitive and procedural skills that are applicable to postgraduate year 1 trainees in all fields of specialisation.

Methods The curriculum was developed through input from senior medical students and faculty from multiple specialties. The course used small-group sessions and skills labs led by distinguished speakers from various professions (medicine, nursing and pharmacy) to teach senior medical students the information and skills common to the needs of all new physicians, regardless of the specialty they have chosen. The course was presented across 3 half-days and was offered just prior to graduation.

Results Of 166 possible participants, 65 attended the course; 39 (60%) of them completed evaluations immediately following the course and 29 (45%) of participants completed a follow-up evaluation 3 months later. All respondents reported increased confidence in caring for patients in all subject areas taught. In the follow-up survey, 82% of respondents reported using information learned during the course on an hourly, daily or weekly basis in their care of patients.

Conclusions A specialty-neutral IPC is of benefit to its attendees, regardless of the medical specialty in which they train.


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  • Contributors All three authors participated in the design and presentation of the Internship Preparation Course. NF distributed the surveys to participants and calculated the response rates. LJB drafted the manuscript, and NF and PCD provided constructive review of its content. All three authors have approved the manuscript being submitted to Postgraduate Medical Journal. LJB takes responsibility for the contents of this work.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval IRB, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.