Acquiring surgical skills

Authors

  • J. M. Hamdorf,

    1. Department of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • Professor J. C. Hall

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    • University Department of Surgery, Royal Perth Hospital, Wellington Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000, Australia
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Abstract

Background:

Technical competence is the bedrock of surgery, yet it has only recently been viewed as a valid area for either critical evaluation or formal teaching.

Methods:

This review examines the teaching of surgical skills. The core is derived from a literature search of the Medline computer database.

Results and conclusion:

The impetus for surgical change has generally related to the introduction of new technology. Advances initially allowed for open operation within the main body cavities; more recently minimal access surgery has appeared. The latter was introduced in an inappropriate manner, which has led to the evolution of teaching of technical skills away from an apprenticeship-based activity towards more formal skill-based training programmes. There is now a need for a solid theoretical base for the teaching of manual skills that accommodates concepts of surgical competence. © 2000 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd

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