School of Surgery

Surgical Education

In the past, surgical skills were acquired by supervised practice in an apprenticeship model. Due to many factors, the opportunity to become competent in surgical skills solely in the operating theatre is diminishing.

Procedural skills training in a workshop environment has many advantages. However, to bring lasting benefits, courses must be based on a secure foundation of educational pedagogy, and training programs must be subject to rigorous academic evaluation.

This is the focus of the surgical educational research team led by Winthrop Professor Jeff Hamdorf, Professor of Surgical Education. In association with Winthrop Professor John Hall articles have been published which have had a significant influence on the development of curriculum and assessment programs in the Faculty’s integrated Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree.

Also of importance is Professor Hamdorf’s focus on surgical education in the simulation modality, especially at the world-renowned purpose-built facility, the Clinical Training and Evaluation Centre. This group has developed successful collaborations with local, national and international experts in the field, and with surgical colleges throughout the world.


The group’s past and present research interests include:

  • developing, along with Winthrop Professor Fiona Lake, the Teaching on the Run module
  • developing the surgical curriculum
  • developing assessment protocols
  • developing surgical and procedural skills courses in the workshop environment
  • investigating surgical simulation in the high-fidelity modality
  • contributing, as one of two RACS endorsed Australian groups, to the international METRICS research project on assessment in the simulation modality
  • comparing success of skills acquisition of workshop participants (groups) differentiated on the variable of the skill grade of the trainer –  the SSSP Australia-wide project through RACS.



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Last updated:
Wednesday, 16 September, 2009 10:38 AM