Background: Airway management is an essential element of surgical training, but with fewer procedures performed during residency, simulation is crucial to fill educational gaps. We evaluated the effect of a multidisciplinary airway simulation on the comfort of general surgery residents in managing airways. Materials and methods: All residents PGY 2-5 at a large academic general surgery residency program participated in a multidisciplinary airway management simulation. Precourse surveys evaluated self-perception of skills in three areas of airway management: surgical airway, basic ventilator strategies, and endotracheal intubation. Simulation consisted of didactic and procedural components and used high- and low-fidelity models including silicon airways, ventilators, porcine trachea, and airway adjuncts. Instruction was provided by anesthesia and otolaryngology faculty. Postcourse assessment was performed with a four-level Likert questionnaire. Results were analyzed using paired t-tests. Results: Of the 19 residents surveyed, 37% of residents had 1-5 h and 32% had 5-10 h of prior airway instruction. Significant increases in mean comfort were observed across all three studied areas. Residents reported increased comfort performing a surgical airway (1.16 versus 1.95), P < 0.0001, and troubleshooting ventilator issues (1.59 versus 2.16), P < 0.0001. Comfort regarding overall airway management including endotracheal intubation demonstrated similar improvement (1.84 versus 2.32), P = 0.02. Subgroup analysis by PGY level showed the greatest impact on comfort level in junior residents. Conclusions: Multidisciplinary airway simulation can be effectively implemented in a general surgery training program and positively affect trainee comfort with these techniques, particularly among junior residents.
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