ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) --As a surgeon, one has to work with precision, focus and finesse.
But, when you are starting off as a medical resident, you want to prepare yourself as best you can, before doing the "real thing." Recently, “FOX in the Morning” went to the Mayo Clinic, during their “Surgical X-Games.” These games or tests, are designed to give objective feedback to residents, so that they can be on the “cutting edge” of their career.
Dr. David Farley, who works in sub-specialty surgery as well as breast diagnoses at the Mayo Clinic,says these “Surgical X-Games” are a great, hands-on approach for residents to hone their craft, before they wield the scalpel for the first time. “The impetus to develop these 'games' was to preemptively teach and train, 'cut, sew and tie,' so that when a trainee comes to the operating room for their first 'thyroidectomy', they are not baffled, they are not alarmed, they are not afraid. They know that what they're looking at is the strap muscle, or the middle thyroid vein. They can identify that. And we're doing that with simulation training as well as online learning. We have video training that residents go to beforehand, to take a test, take a quiz, and become a little more proficient so that they're prepared and ready for the real operation. We feel every patient deserves a competent assistant to that staff surgeon,” said Farley.
According to Dr. Farley, the “Surgical X-Games” are designed to be objective tests: to offer helpful feedback to the residents, regarding what skills they need to focus upon and which skills they have mastered. Edwin Onkedi, who is a surgical resident at the clinic, says exercises like this, help to develop the confidence and hands-on skills of a future surgeon. “I think I got to put my knowledge into practice,” said Onkedi. “Most of the time, we read on how to do a certain procedure. Like, what I just did, was an anastomosis between the pancreas and the small bowel. And that's something I read about, most of the time,” Onkedi explained. “I get to assist in the operating room every so often. But to get to do it and try and do the whole thing by myself on a model, helps my superiors and I examine my skills. And so, that was something that was interesting,” said Onkedi.
“We believe that adult learners learn better with their hands,” said Farley. “And there's no question about that. We have data that shows that. Also, there is data that shows our millennial learners are going to have less repetitions, less experience in the operating room. We have duty hour regulations, so they have less time in the hospital. And we are hopeful that they will accept these exercises or these 'games' better than an old baby-boomer like me; who's use to the text book, use to the lecture and spending 120 hours a week in the hospital.”