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J Surg Educ. 2017 Jul 13. pii: S1931-7204(17)30272-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.06.028. [Epub ahead of print]

Enhancing Medical Curricula: The Role of a 1-Day Plastic Surgery Course as an Educational Adjunct for Medical Students.

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St George׳s, University of London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
St George׳s, University of London, London, United Kingdom.
St George's University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, London, United Kingdom.



Plastic surgery is underrepresented in medical school curricula. The St George׳s Surgical Society hosted a 1-day undergraduate course in plastic surgery. Our aim was to introduce students to plastic surgery and teach basic plastic surgical skills.


The skills day consisted of lectures from consultants and a core trainee followed by registrar-taught workshops in suturing, tendon repair, and local flap design. Precourse and postcourse questionnaires assessed perceptions of plastic surgery, confidence in performing basic plastic surgical skills, and usefulness of course components.


Many perceptions of plastic surgery saw statistically significant changes. The belief that plastic surgery covers a wide range of specialties increased by 36% (p = 0.01). A -32% change (p = 0.00) was seen in the perception of plastic surgery only being pursued as a career for financial gain. Delegates reported greater confidence in all components of basic plastic surgical skills. The most useful activity was reported as performing surgical skills on real tissue.


A 1-day course can significantly increase positive perceptions of plastic surgery, dispel preconceived false stereotypes, while improving student confidence in performing basic plastic surgery skills. It is important that university surgical societies provide opportunities for student education, to aid informed decisions about future careers.


Medical Education; Medical Knowledge; Medical Student; One-day course; Plastic Surgery; Practice Based Learning and Improvement; Surgery

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