Advances in Medical Education and Practice (Oct 2019)

Medical Student And Faculty Perceptions Of Undergraduate Surgical Training In The South African And Swedish Tertiary Institutions: A Cross-Sectional Survey

  • Scott AJ,
  • Drevin G,
  • Pavlović L,
  • Nilsson M,
  • Krige JEJ,
  • Jonas E

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 10
pp. 855 – 866


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Alex J Scott,1 Gustaf Drevin,2 Lordan Pavlović,2 Magnus Nilsson,3 Jake EJ Krige,4 Eduard Jonas4 1Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; 2Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 3Division of Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 4Department of Surgery, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South AfricaCorrespondence: Alex J ScottFaculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, Barnard Fuller Building, Cape Town 7935, South AfricaTel +27 21 406 6346Email [email protected]: To evaluate and compare medical student and faculty perceptions of undergraduate surgical training and compare results between South Africa and Sweden.Patients and methods: An electronic, online questionnaire was anonymously distributed to medical students and surgical faculty at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, and the Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden. The questionnaire explored the perceptions of medical students and surgical faculty regarding the current undergraduate surgical curriculum, as well as existing clinical and theoretical instructional methods.Results: A total of 120 students (response rate of 24.4%) and 41 faculty (response rate of 74.5%) responded. Students believed they ought to receive significantly more teaching when compared to surgical faculty (p=0.018). Students and faculty generally agreed that students should expect to study approximately six to 20 hrs per week outside of clinical duty. There was general agreement that “small-group tutorials” was the area students learn the most from, whereas students reported “lectures” least helpful. Registrars were reported as the first person students should consult regarding patient care. Fifty-one (42.5%) medical students believed that faculty viewed students as an inconvenience, and 42 (35.0%) students believed that faculty would rather not have students on the clinical team. The majority of faculty (68.3%) reported significantly more negative views on the current undergraduate surgical curriculum when compared to students (p=0.002). UCT faculty reported giving significantly less feedback to students during their surgical rotation when compared to KI faculty (p=0.043).Conclusion: Significant differences exist between surgical faculty and medical student perceptions regarding undergraduate surgical training in developing and developed countries. In order to increase surgical interest among undergraduate medical students, it is imperative for surgical educators to be aware of these differences and find specific strategies to bridge this gap.Keywords: surgical education, curriculum, perception, survey