Surgical trainees in EoE rated the fidelity of cadaveric material 9.3/10 on average (comparing to real life experience) and pre-course skills confidence rating was 5.45/10 compared to 8.1/10 post cadaveric training.
Trainees in the East of England have access to an extensive surgical cadaveric simulation program which provides training that is as close to real life as possible. The courses are mapped to the surgical curriculum and the use of cadaveric specimens provides risk-free practice under close expert supervision with real-time feedback. It is clear that practical skills aren’t purely learnt in a book and so cadaveric simulation provides a stepping stone from basic knowledge to the operating theatre for our trainee surgeons. Using cadaveric human tissue, set up in such a way as to mimic the real living human experience, trainees develop the confidence and skills to do the procedure without error in the living situation. Trainees learn a great deal more from mistakes they make in the cadaveric lab, as these can be discussed with the expert supervisors and the steps needed to avoid the mistake in future can be demonstrated. In the East of England, we offer a wide range of surgical courses with the latest technology. This provides the best possible environment for trainees to learn and perfect their techniques on cadaveric material.
General surgical simulation days have enabled senior trainees to act up as future trainers in junior grade procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy and appendicectomy. I've found that ST7s and ST8s in particular have developed their leadership skills using the simulators in training junior registrars.
Cadaveric simulation is of vital importance in my training as a surgeon. The consultant led service changes in surgery mean that junior trainees are less likely to get as much operating experience as they would have 10 years ago. Cadaveric simulation bridges this training deficit, and in fact, enhances training by providing a training scenario that is as close to real life as possible. It also removes the time pressured environment of the NHS operating theatre which often reduces surgical opportunities for trainees. For a surgeon, it is clear that these practical skills can't purely be learnt in a book, and so cadaveric simulation can also act as a stepping stone from the book to the theatre. From attending a course that uses cadaveric simulation, the trainees can be more confident in performing procedures in real life and consultants can have more confidence that their trainee knows the steps of the operation at hand.
I attended the Transplant Course and the Trauma Course, these 2 days have provided me with my current limited experience of transplant and trauma in my ST3 training and are the only procedural activities I have linked to these 2 mandatory topics on my ISCP. They have improved my understanding of anatomy, tissue handling and management of specific infrequent but all important transplant/trauma situations. In addition to providing me with confidence during trauma calls, they have also been relevant to my upper GI and emergency surgery rotations in these respects. The cadaver and faculty:trainee ratio is excellent. I could not have booked 2 more useful courses and have found these among the highlights of my ST3 training year.