Time for a radical rethink on surgical training?

Medical trainees pick up better skills when surgery is taught as a 'hobby', shows study

The pressure-cooker atmosphere of a surgical training program may not be the best place to acquire new skills, with a study showing students mastered suturing and cutting techniques far more quickly in a stress-free environment.

First-year medical students who were taught surgical skills as “a hobby” picked up the techniques better than surgical trainees being assessed under a more typical surgical setting, US researchers say.

The study is timely, given the widely publicised experience of Australian Dr Yumiko Kadota, an unaccredited registrar who became so stressed over the long hours and pressure that she was admitted to hospital and has given up on her ambitions to be a surgeon.

The study findings suggest the best way to train surgeons is to remove the stress of residency programs