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Essay on Teaching Surgical Skills

7 pages
1785 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
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Post 1: Beyond Operational Strategy of Teaching and Learning in General Surgery

Training is one of the components in general surgery, which intends to pass the essential skills and competencies in healthcare professionalism to new candidates. However, the method used to disseminate the fundamental abilities defines the nature of outcome depicted among the learners. The strategies included in training styles in surgery are essential in determining the kind of results associated with the set objectives (Paydar et al., 2014). For example, it is not always a guarantee that a good style will lead to the best learning results. Nevertheless, adhering to the procedures set to guide the learning process ensures that the trainees attain the best qualifications that enhance the patient outcome before, during, and after surgery. My experience as a professional in general surgery has shown that there is a need for the training and learning programs to consider other factors beyond the operative fundamentals.

The incorporation of leadership skills in the learning strategies is a critical move that could enhance the level of professionalism among general surgeons. Most programs are currently monitored, evaluated, and restructured to align the new trends in healthcare in line with the skills that learners acquire. The need to reemphasize the importance of the senior surgeons in insisting on leadership expertise, while mentoring the juniors, is a sustainable approach to quality management (Paydar et al., 2014). Nevertheless, this change cannot be attained unless and culture is established through the respective institutions as well as the healthcare facilities meant for training and learning. In such a case, long-term planning and execution of the proposed evidence-based recommendations form the baseline of the change process.

Worth pointing out is that the most strategies have pointed out the necessity of teaching and training the surgical assistants from the perspective of patient care and the need for quality outcomes. However, practical leadership skills guarantee the level to which the trainees will embrace the essence of teamwork, coordination, and adherence to ethical practice. In such a case, the redesigning of the surgical training to incorporate changing trends in professional leadership (Paydar et al., 2014). On the other hand, I have noted that the allocation of resources is essential; however, the level of adequacy and appropriateness is another dimension that should be considered while making the appropriations. The success of the healthcare milestones depends on the creation of the new generation of general surgeons who can impact their juniors to adopt essential operative and leadership competencies.

Furthermore, since successful surgery-based learning requires clear thinking, adoption of modern technical skills, and acquisition of planning and execution expertise, several factors should be considered while redesigning the training programs. According to Paydar et al. (2014), the learning process should not be restricted to the understanding of systems and their functionality, pathology of disorders, and diagnostic and prognostic approaches. There is need to consider how surgery training is expected to increase the self-efficacy of the learners. Such a move should also incorporate management of trainees with low self-efficacy scores (Paydar et al., 2014). The objective should be set to improve the ability of the new generation surgeon to enhance preoperative and postoperative outcomes as well as providing avenues for knowledge development for innovation of interventions.


Paydar, S., Ghahramani, Z., Bolandparvaz, S., Khalili, H., and Abbasi, H., R., 2014. Learning operational strategies in surgery training. J Adv Med Educ Prof., Vol. 2, Iss. 2, pp. 92 94.

Post 2: A One-Hour Lecture on Inguinal Hernia

During the teaching period, I covered different areas of general surgery. One of the conditions I handled was the Inguinal Hernia. In this area, I had to cover a different aspect of the disease to allow the students to have a medical background associated with the disease. While preparing for this lecture, I had to ensure that the objectives, aims, and the expected outcome of the lesson are outlined. Therefore, I had to set what was to be covered and the role of the students during this lecture. I had to set the following objectives for the learners that were to be attained at the end of the lesson.

At the end of the lecture, learners were expected to understand the causes of an inguinal hernia and how the risk factors present in different populations.

The learners were also expected to understand the symptoms and how they can be clinically ascertained. In this case, the need to identify the early signs to enhance prompt intervention was also considered.

The learners were to understand the diagnostic processes and the treatment of the cases based on the level of severity and location.

Once the objectives had been set, it was essential to ensure that the lecture was successful. Therefore, the inclusion of the visual aids such as the presentations with clear images as well as simulations assisted in presenting the topic with ease to enhance the understanding of the learners. However, during the lecture, the students had many questions based on the other types of hernia conditions we hand handled in the previous address. Therefore, the time that I had allocated for each subsection did not balance according to my earlier schedule. I had to leave a portion of the treatment segment as a part of the learners consideration and further study.

Based on this experience, I realized it is essential to have a comprehensive planning for each lecture incorporating the critical fundamentals of the topic covered. While it is necessary for the lesson to run as planned, which calls for the adherence to the set schedule, ensuring that learners understand the topic is a critical factor in active learning. Nevertheless, it is essential to consider the advantage of feedback evaluation and the assessment of the objective outcomes. In most cases, the continuous assessment had offered an avenue of evaluating the extent to which learners have attained the intended knowledge; however, in general surgery, I have noted that random evaluations based on real-time case evaluations is critical in measuring the extent to which leaners understood the class-based fundamentals. According to Sweeney (2012), the clinical practical assessment could be used for random evaluation of learners; however, simulations can also be adopted based on the nature of the topic. Furthermore, I noted that effective teaching is based on five fundamental questions.

Who are your students?

What do you intend to teach?

What is the competency level of learners?

What visual aids are appropriate for the lesson?

What is the level of fidelity associated with the selected simulations?


Sweeney, W. B., 2012. Teaching surgery to medical students. Clin Colon Rectal Surg., Vol 25, Iss. 3, pp. 127 133.

Post 3: Changes in Teaching Surgical Skills

I believe the educational and training skills in surgery in the clinical setting have evolved to a high degree, especially with the introduction and advancements in medical technology. Such a consideration has improved the reliance on learning technical skills in surgery operation. In my view, the adoption of preventive technology has improved the efficiency of surgical services. The efficacy of the operation room has been enhanced through mastery of the technical procedures. However, the increased complexity in the patients presented in the operation room has enabled the training and experienced health professionals to acquire more experience in dealing with surgical conditions. I think the increased complications among the patients will allow the mitigation of medical errors in teaching to assist the clinicians in the medical procedures. The exposure of the medical students is responsible for the improved teaching than the demonstration of the particular design of the curricula. Such a case provides a hallmark of modern surgical training since it enhances better opportunities for training through the exhibition of skills on real patients as opposed to models. The exposures in operation have significantly contributed to the improved education on surgical capabilities through the acquisition of founding skills and application of the theories. The approach will facilitate a better understanding of the models and simulators to increase the operation experience among medical trainees.

In the new surgical teaching mechanism, the demonstration of established medical theories in improving the medical skills to improve the acquired and expertise in motor skills have been implemented. For instance, the Fitts and Posners argument of motor skills acquisition has been exploited in the surgical literature to improve the teaching methods. From the concept, the trainee has the responsibility of intellectualizing the procedures in the cognitive stage that makes their performance erratic due to the differences exhibited in every step. The approach enables the learner to understand the surgical skills in the different stages, which is enhanced through practice to allow the development of the integrative scene. In the integrative stage, the academic knowledge is applied and translated into a proper a motor behavior, yet the technical procedures are challenged with few alterations. However, in the autonomous stage, proper performance and results will be established through continued practice (Reznick and MacRae 2006). The trainee, in my view, will no longer think about the procedures before executing a task and show a higher level of focus on the surgical operations improving their skills.

I believe the implication of the Fitts and Posners three-stage theory of learning has positive impact on surgical training. The initial stages of the teaching technical surgical skills should be demonstrated outside the operation to allow the trainees develop a basic knowledge of the procedures. Such a move will enhance the improved outcomes in surgery since the processes cannot be achieved without the mastery of necessary skills. The approach will enable the trainee to concentrate on the complex cases demonstrated in surgical patients that involve both technical and nontechnical skills in the operation room. Therefore, through the acquisition of expertise, the health professional will show high levels of engagements improvements in performance that will increase their experience in handling surgical procedures.


Reznick, R. and MacRae, H. 2006. Teaching surgical skills- changes in the wind. N Eng J Med; 355:2664-2669

Post 4: Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in Teaching Surgical Skills

I believe the surgical skills laboratories have become a significant avenue for the acquisition of the surgical skills at early stages of learning. Such a move is enhanced by the guidelines and principles that are applied in the innovative environment that is common during training. The controlled situation in the laboratory improves the acquisition and transfer of new skills in the assessment of the life-like models in teaching. Through the randomized, controlled trials can implement the validated expert-based and computer-based measures in the evaluation of surgical operations. The approach is enhanced through the occurrence of changes in the surgical training curriculum to reduce the time impact in the operation room, achieve patient safety, and avoid the constraining budgets.

From the alterations in the surgical field, I believe, the facilitators of surgical operations are obliged to research for efficient and innovative me...

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