Surgical Skills day: bridging the gap

Keng Siang Lee, Sebastian Priest, Joshua J Wellington, Toluwaniyin Owoso, Leyln Osei Atiemo, Ameen Mardanpour, Zachary Craft, Natalie Blencowe, Robert J Hinchliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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BackgroundThe General Medical Council (GMC) requires all newly qualified doctors to be competent in certain surgical skills, including the provision of basic wound closure. Yet there is a profound lack of undergraduate competence in, and exposure to, basic surgical skills such as wound closure. The Surgical Skills Day (SSD) aimed to provide medical students with additional skills training.
MethodsStudent self-assessment and instructors’ assessment forms were completed prior to and following a workshop on basic wound closure skills. Paired t-tests was used to statistically compare the two pre and post-instruction data sets.
ResultsA total of 46 students attended the SSD; 29 consented to the skills assessment. 100% (n = 29) self-reported improved competency in at least one of the skills following tuition (p < 0.001). Instructors’ assessment agreed that 100% (n = 29) of students improved in at least one of the skills assessed (p < 0.001). 100% of the attendees agreed that additional practical surgical skills should be incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum. 64% (n = 21) of students also confirmed that they were more likely to pursue a career in surgery following the SSD.
ConclusionCurrent clinical teaching in basic suturing is unsuitable for long term retention. SSDs can improve skills acquisition and elevate student confidence. This data builds on our previous work by documenting the high efficacy in skills acquisition as a result of SSD tuition. We recommend that SSDs be integrated into medical school curricula in order to address shortcomings in current undergraduate programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020


  • surgical skills day
  • surgery
  • undergraduate training
  • medical education
  • foundation programme
  • United Kingdom
  • clinical skills

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