Sydney Medical Program Update

by Associate Professor Margaret Schnitzler

The surgical teaching component of the Sydney Medical Program has been favourably evaluated by students. However, we are always striving to improve the teaching of surgery and student experience. With this in mind, we ran the inaugural summer surgical program for 4 weeks in November/December 2017. This program is designed to give stage 1 and 2 students some exposure to surgery ahead of their clinical attachments in stage 3. Thirty-two students were placed with various surgical departments at RNSH and all participants indicated that their interest in surgery had increased. In the words of one student:

“I had the most fantastic week with the neurosurgery team. I learned many new skills and also gained a much greater understanding of how a surgical team fits into the day-to-day running of a large hospital. It was exciting and great fun and the surgeons were all very helpful and welcoming. I wish I could do it all again!”

It favourably that this will be an annual activity at the Northern Clinical School and we hope to expand the number of placements in coming years. The structured surgical teaching program has been extensively revised in the past couple of years with a focus on interactive and case-based sessions to complement the online lecture program. This year has seen the introduction of a series of clinical reasoning sessions on common surgical topics with a case student presentation and an expert surgical mentor. All of our Thirty-two is evaluated and student feedback is used to plan future sessions. We are fortunate to have an enthusiastic group of consultant surgeons and fellows who contribute to the surgical program at the Northern.

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