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Keywords:

  • basic surgical skills;
  • cost-effective framework;
  • medical students;
  • training

Abstract

Background

The importance of basic surgical skills is entirely agreed among surgical educators. However, restricted by ethical issues, finance etc, the basic surgical skills training is increasingly challenged. Increasing cost gives an impetus to the development of cost-effective training models to meet the trainees' acquisition of basic surgical skills. In this situation, a cost-effective training framework was formed in our department and introduced here.

Methods

Each five students were assigned to a ‘training unit’. The training was implemented weekly for 18 weeks. The framework consisted of an early, a transitional, an integrative stage and a surgical skills competition. Corresponding training modules were selected and assembled scientifically at each stage. The modules comprised campus intranet databases, sponge benchtop, nonliving animal tissue, local dissection specimens and simulating reality operations. The training outcomes used direct observation of procedural skills as an assessment tool. The training data of 50 trainees who were randomly selected in each year from 2006 to 2011 year, were retrospectively analysed.

Results

An excellent and good rate of the surgical skills is from 82 to 88%, but there is no significant difference among 6 years (P > 0.05). The skills scores of the contestants are markedly higher than those of non-contestants (P < 0.05). The average training cost per trainee is about $21.85–34.08.

Conclusion

The present training framework is reliable, feasible, repeatable and cost-effective. The skills competition can promote to improve the surgical skills level of trainees.