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The influence of surgical demonstrations during an anatomy course on the perceptions of first-year medical students toward surgeons and a surgical career

, : The influence of surgical demonstrations during an anatomy course on the perceptions of first-year medical students toward surgeons and a surgical career. Journal of Surgical Education 67(5): 320-324

We previously have demonstrated the educational benefits of surgical demonstrations to first-year medical students. The aim of this current study was to analyze the influence of these demonstrations on the perceptions of students toward surgeons and a possible career in surgery. A faculty member from the Department of Surgery provided an instruction on pancreatic malignancies and management to first-year medical students during their gross anatomy course. After this instruction, using a lightly embalmed cadaver, the clinically relevant anatomy was detailed and a pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed on the cadaver. Immediately after the demonstration, a brief survey was conducted to obtain feedback from the students about the experience. A total of 170 students over 2 years returned the survey for a response rate of 69%. The demonstration provided 77% of students with a favorable impression of surgeons, and 90% of the students felt that this exposure gave them an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and qualities needed to become a surgeon. Additionally, 57% of respondents stated that watching the demonstration increased the likelihood of them pursuing a surgical career. For the 67% of students who were considering a surgery career, the demonstration reinforced their interest; however, for the students who were not interested in surgery, the demonstration did not alter their opinion. The results of this study showed that surgical demonstrations to first-year medical students can influence their perceptions favorably about surgeons and a surgical career. This interaction provided students with information and motivation to pursue a career in surgery and also may counteract any negative stereotypes of the field that first-year students may have had.


PMID: 21035773

DOI: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2010.07.016

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