The Anatomy of Surgical Exposure is an unique course run over three days in the modern laboratories of James Cook University, in Smithfield, Cairns.
This cadaveric course has been designed to reflect all stages of a successful simulation exercise, so that the entire curriculum of general surgery, can be taught and learned in a simulated operating theatre environment. Each of the ten stations consists of two candidates, an OR theatre nurse, a complete set of instruments, and one or more senior surgeons as tutors and supervisors. The candidates are expected to do the operations themselves, with skilled supervision or assistance as required. Senior Trainees can expect to be quizzed on the details of the operative surgery. The performance of each candidate is assessed during the course, using the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS), and this will be used after the course to provide a complete debrief with each candidate.
Following feedback from participants over the last few years, the course has been adjusted to be more flexible in regard to the dissection program, and will offer choices dependent on participant requirements. For example, some candidates may not be interested in the Craniotomy section, and may wish to do more in the head and neck section or vascular exposures. The organisers will endeavour to mix and match candidates and tutors to meet their requirements.
The philosophy that underpins this course is that there will always be a place for mastery in open surgery, particularly in the trauma or re-operative setting. Few trainees have the opportunity to see all these important exposures in the course of their training, and many will be uncertain about the anatomical principles that underlie these exposures.
This course will not be possible without the dedication of many senior surgeons who give their time freely.