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Doctors call for overhaul of undergraduate curriculum

Researchers are proposing a review of medical education to include more hands-on experience, in order to get a better gender balance in top surgical roles.

Lap Yan Leung, an academic teaching fellow at St George’s, University of London, and Cristina Cernei, a junior doctor at the Oxford deanery and graduate of Swansea University Medical School, were reporting the results of their studies at the Women in Surgery Symposium in Telford on 5 October. They called for changes to the way doctors are trained in Britain to help achieve a better gender mix among surgeons. Particularly, they said female medical students would benefit from more practical experience. 

For her research, Cernei and fellow junior doctor Rhian Allen organised four talks and four workshops offering practical experience in basic suturing, tracheostomy and tendon suturing as well as a cardiac wet lab. Of the 28 students who attended—17 men and 11 women age 21 to 36—96 per cent said felt they needed more surgical exposure as undergraduates before considering a career in surgery. 

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