Fostering Authenticity in Surgical Education: Creating a Safe Space for Medical Students to Practice as Doctors

J Surg Educ. 2022 Sep 15;S1931-7204(22)00223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.08.014. Online ahead of print.


Over the past 10 years we have witnessed major changes to the medical education landscape in response to advances in digital technologies. Couple this with the disruptions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and we have what could be described as a 'perfect storm.' Rather than hunker down and wait for it to pass, we took it as an opportunity to re-evaluate how we practice surgical education in the fourth year of our 6 year medical programme. In this article, we describe the formation of 6 core principles that function as pivot points in developing a new perspective centered on the importance of engaging and empowering our students as emerging clinicians. From these 6 principles, we designed and developed 3 interventions. Each intervention is discussed in regard to its purpose, operation and overall integration into the program.

Keywords: Professionalism; surgical education; video-based education; virtual curriculum; virtual surgical education.