An Experience in Surgical Anatomy to Provide First-Year Medical Students with an Early Exposure to General Surgery: A Pilot Study

Chandrakanth Are, Hugh A. Stoddard, Lindsay C. Northam, Jon S. Thompson, Gordon L. Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Introduction: The level of interest expressed by medical students toward the field of general surgery has decreased. The aims of this study were to (1) describe an educational scheme in surgical anatomy that increases interaction between practicing surgeons and first-year medical students and (2) garner feedback and opinions of these medical students from a pilot study of this educational experience. Materials and Methods: A faculty member from the Department of Surgery provided a review of pancreatic malignancies and its management to first-year medical students during their anatomy course. Then, using a cadaver, the clinically relevant anatomy was detailed, and a pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed with the help of student volunteers. A 7-question survey using the 5-point Likert response scale ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" was used to obtain feedback from the students. Results: A total of 145 responses (of 205) were collected for a response rate of 70.38%. Most students (99%) felt that this type of surgical demonstration during the anatomy course was extremely beneficial. The students also felt that this approach improved their understanding of the relevant anatomy and its clinical importance. The survey also demonstrated that most students would like these surgical demonstrations to be repeated in future. Less than 1% of the students did not find these demonstrations beneficial. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate the benefit of surgical demonstrations by surgical faculty to first-year medical students. These findings have led to the incorporation of this educational scheme into the medical school anatomy curriculum on a regular basis at our University.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-189
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • career choice
  • general surgery
  • surgical career
  • surgical education
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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