SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – The preference of medical students to pursue radiology, psychiatry and rehabilitative medicine over a future as surgeons has reportedly become more pronounced in the last few years.
Amidst this backdrop of pre-med students steering clear of the operating room, a workshop in which students can hone their skills in a simulated setting has proven to be effective in having them change their minds.
Professors Seo Ho-seok and Song Yong-young from the Catholic University of Korea St. Mary’s Hospitals Seoul and Uijeongbu locations, disclosed on January 10 the skills assessment of 91 medical students who participated in the “Surgical Skill Weekend” held at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital in 2015 and 2016.
The Surgical Skill Weekend began in 2011 and was the first surgery skills training workshop for medical students across the country.
In an operating room designed to closely reproduce the look and feel of an actual facility, attending students learned firsthand how to perform stitches, make abdominal incisions and use laparoscopic equipment.
According to the professors, the students averaged a score of 14 out of 20 before the Surgical Skill Weekend, but after receiving training, their scores jumped to 19.4. There was also no noticeable difference in scores attained by lower and upperclassmen.
In addition, while only 56 percent professed an interest in considering surgery as a career before taking part in the workshop, 81.3 percent said likewise after the workshop was concluded.
“Restricting class sizes to 50, we conducted rigorous training in a simulated environment from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 9 in the evening. The importance of skills training learned via simulations is growing very important, to the point that a practical section is now a part of the national licensing test for doctors,” said Seo.
Song added that the reputation of surgeons received a boost after the highly publicized work of doctor Lee Kook-jong, who shot to fame after saving the life of a North Korean soldier who had been critically wounded by gunfire while defecting. However, Song said that Lee’s popularity had yet to lead to an increase in the number of aspiring surgeons.