Background: Undergraduate Surgical Education is becoming an essential element in the training of the future generation of safe and efficient surgeons. Essential Skills in the Management of Surgical Cases (ESMSC), is an international, joint applied surgical science and simulation-based learning wet lab course.
Methods: We performed a review of the existing literature on the topic of undergraduate surgical education. Following that, we analyzed the feedback questionnaire received 480 from 2 recent series of ESMSC courses (May 2015, n = 49 and November 2015, n = 40), in order to evaluate European Union students' (UK, Germany, Greece) views on the ESMSC course, as well as on the undergraduate surgical education. Results Using a 10 point graded scale, the overall ESMSC concept was positively evaluated, with a mean score of 9.41 ± 0.72 (range: 8-10) and 8.94 ± 1.1 (range: 7-10). The majority of delegates from both series [9.86 ± 0.43 (range: 8-10) and 9.58 ± 0.91 (range: 6-10), respectively] believed that ESMSC should be incorporated in the undergraduate surgical curriculum. Comparison of responses from the UK to the Greek Medical Student, as well as the findings from the third and fourth year versus the fifth and sixth year Medical Students, revealed no statistically significant differences pertaining to any of the questions (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: Current evidence in the literature supports the enhancement of surgical education through the systematic use of various modalities that provide Simulation-Based Training (SBT) hands-on experience, starting from the early undergraduate level. The findings of the present study are in agreement with these previous reports.
Keywords: basic surgical training; ex vivo; in vivo; simulation-based training; undergraduate surgical education; wet lab.