Evaluating the educational environment of an international animal model-based wet lab course for undergraduate students

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2016 Oct 24;12:8-17. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2016.10.004. eCollection 2016 Dec.


Background: Essential Skills in the management of Surgical Cases - ESMSC is an International Combined Applied Surgical Science and Wet Lab course aimed at the undergraduate level. ESMSC combines interactive basic science workshops and case-based learning, with basic surgical training modules (BST) on Ex Vivo and In Vivo swine model. In Vivo Dissections include more advanced modules i.e. Abdominal Anatomy Dissections and Cardiac Transplant.

Aim: To evaluate the educational environment of a novel course, as well as to compare Medical students' perceptions across various groups.

Materials and methods: 83 Delegates from King's College London (KCL) and several Hellenic Medical Schools attended the ESMSC course. The DREEM inventory was distributed upon completion of the modules.

Results: The mean overall score for DREEM inventory was 148.05/200(99-196, SD = 17.90). Cronbach's Alpha value was 0.818, indicating good internal consistency of the data. Year 3/4 Students have a significantly positive "Perception of Learning", when compared to Year 5/6 (36.43 vs. 33.75, p = 0.017). KCL Students have a more positive view of the course compared to their Greek counterparts (155.19 vs. 145.62/200, p = 0.034). No statistical significant difference was noted when comparing male vs. female students (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Students seem to positively rate the ESMSC educational environment. Junior as well as KCL students appear to be more enthusiastic. Further research should focus on the optimal strategy for early involvement and motivation of various students' groups in BST.

Keywords: Basic surgical skills; Educational environment; Surgical education research; Undergraduate; Wet lab.