Background: Essential Skills in the Management of Surgical Cases (ESMSC) is an international, animal model-based course. It combines interactive lectures with basic ex vivo stations and more advanced wet lab modules, that is, in vivo dissections and Heart Transplant Surgery on a swine model.
Materials and methods: Forty-nine medical students (male, N = 27, female N = 22, and mean age = 23.7 years) from King's College London (KCL) and Greek Medical Schools attended the course. Participants were assessed with Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS), as well as Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Paired t-test associations were used to evaluate whether there was statistically significant improvement in their performance.
Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of a combined applied surgical science and wet lab simulation course as a teaching model for surgical skills at the undergraduate level.
Results: The mean MCQ score was improved by 2.33/32 (P < 0.005). Surgical skills competences, as defined by DOPS scores, were improved in a statically significant manner (P < 0.005 for all paired t-test correlations).
Conclusions: ESMSC seems to be an effective teaching model, which improves the understanding of the surgical approach and the basic surgical skills. In vivo models could be used potentially as a step further in the Undergraduate Surgical Education.