Surgical Science

Volume 7, Issue 9 (September 2016)

ISSN Print: 2157-9407   ISSN Online: 2157-9415

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.36  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Improving Confidence and Practical Skills in Plastic Surgery for Medical Students and Junior Doctors: A One-Day Session

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DOI: 10.4236/ss.2016.79059    1,270 Downloads   1,843 Views   Citations


Objectives: The current medical school curriculum offers scant exposure to plastic surgery. Medical students and junior doctors are often inadequately prepared for in-hospital placements which may impact on patient safety and quality of care. We aimed to deliver a one-day hands-on practical session on basic surgical skills and principles in plastic surgery, and to assess its effectiveness at improving confidence to the specialty among junior trainees. Methods: The one-day practical session covered knot tying, suturing, LA administration, skin lesion excision and local flaps, with short concurrent lectures on principles of plastic surgery. Self-assessment confidence scores were recorded before and after the course on seven domains: a) knowledge: wound assessment and management, suture selection, and concepts of flaps; b) practical skills: Handling of surgical instrument, suturing, LA administration, and skin lesion excision. Results: Thirty-five participants attended: Six core surgical trainees, fifteen foundation doctors, and fourteen medical students. The overall course satisfaction was 9.13/10. Self-assessment confidence scores in all domains significantly improved after the course (p < 0.0001). Suturing (58.6%) and skin lesion excision (74.5%) demonstrated the largest improvement. Qualitative feedback was extremely positive. Conclusions: The hands-on nature of the course offered participants great opportunities to acquire the necessary confidence and practical skills required for in-hospital placements. It is vital for students and doctors interested in a career in plastic surgery to prepare adequately for this diverse specialty, which is covered in limited depth in medical school. The need for more practical skills courses on plastic surgery for this demographic is intuitive.

Cite this paper

Leung, B. , Leo, A. , Khundkar, R. , Leung, N. , Reed, A. and Cogswell, L. (2016) Improving Confidence and Practical Skills in Plastic Surgery for Medical Students and Junior Doctors: A One-Day Session. Surgical Science, 7, 433-442. doi: 10.4236/ss.2016.79059.

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