Background Due to increasing requirements of service provision and the introduction of the European Working Time Directive, Foundation trainees have limited exposure to surgical procedures.1 Confidence of novice trainees to perform procedures is improved by undergoing simulation training.2 We have therefore designed a novel, multidisciplinary course aiming to familiarise foundation doctors to surgical procedures. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of such a course on their confidence.
Methodology 23 Foundation Year 2 doctors due to start Core Surgical Training from August 2014 attended the Essential Surgical Skills Course over 2 days. Trainees rotated around a circuit of sub-speciality skills workshops undertaking simulated procedures in General Surgery, Urology, Trauma and Orthopaedics and Plastic surgery, all led by Consultant faculty. Pre and post-course questionnaires were distributed, assessing confidence to perform each skill on a Likert scale (1–5).
Results Median values were calculated across each speciality’s skills. General Surgery and Urology demonstrated an increase in median value for all 23 participants pre- and post-course. Median differences pre- and post-course ranged from 1–3.5 in both General Surgery and Urology. 22 out of 23 demonstrated an increase in median value for Trauma and Orthopaedics, (median difference range 1–4), one participant had equal median values. 20 out of 23 demonstrated an increase in median value for Plastic Surgery, (median difference range of 1–4), three participants had equal median values.
Conclusions and recommendations Participants were overall increasingly confident in performing these core surgical skills having undertaken the course. Simulation is a critical part of surgical training in an era where surgical exposure in the operating theatre is more time-restricted. Trainees feel that a course simulating surgical skills, taught by Consultant surgeons, is important in enhancing confidence and skill acquisition; aiding in bridging the gap between completing foundation training and entering a surgical career.
Varley et al. Changes in caseload and the potential impact on surgical training: a retrospective review of one hospital’s experience. BMC Medical Education 2006;6:6
Green-Carlsen et alet al. Is Current Surgical Training Efficient? J Surg Educ 2014;71(3):367–74
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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