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Surgical Innovation
September 2016

Hands-on Training in the Operating Room as a Method of Continuing Education for Surgeons in Practice

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • 2University of Alabama at Birmingham
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(9):869-870. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.1053

The practice of surgery is rapidly evolving with the development of new technology and innovative approaches to surgical care, making it increasingly difficult for the surgeon in practice to keep pace. Postgraduate education in surgery is available through continuing medical education courses, books, web-based modules, and other modalities, but these tools do not provide the hands-on exposure necessary to allow surgeons to fully assimilate new techniques. To address this need, a GlovesOn program has been developed at the University of Wisconsin. This innovative teaching strategy allows surgeons in practice to scrub alongside an expert, allowing intense 1-on-1 exposure to new techniques and surgical skills. This unique approach to continuing education combines case discussion, didactic teaching, simulation, and hands-on training in the operating room. In this model, surgical training is often performed on the trainees’ own patients, whom he or she has referred to our institution. Through the hands-on session, the trainee and mentor develop a long-term collaborative relationship allowing the continuation of mentorship over time.

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