T Nation

A Surgical Consult

Hey guys, i’m a junior undergraduate right now, and am getting ready for applying to medical school and the whole bit. My main interest as of the moment is something in surgery, probably orthopaedic.

I’ve been building things, be it models, doghouses, remodeling kitchens, and the whole bit since I was about 14 (i’m 20 now).

Since its about the time I start getting mroe serious, I was wondering if any current surgeons or enthusiasts have any reccomendation for additional advanced dexterity-building activities. thanks in advance

Absolutely!

Practice, practice, practice!

  1. Suturing

  2. Tying Surgical Knots

  3. Suturing some more!

I would also consider getting a Surgical Tech certification, (if you have time) to get used to handling the instruments. In many local hospitals, you can actually become First Assist.

There are THOUSANDS of CD’s and instructional models out there. (You can do a search).

Here is one:

http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/Suturing_entrance.htm

Good luck!

Mufasa

I would say not to worry about it at this point so much. The residency training for ortho is fairly long, so you’ll get lots of practice. Worry more about getting into medical school and then into an ortho residency. Good luck.

Play some video games.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Performance of laparoscopic surgery requires adequate hand-eye coordination. Video games are an effective way to judge one’s hand-eye coordination, and practicing these games may improve one’s skills. Our goal was to see if there is a correlation between skill in video games and skill in laparoscopy.

Also, we hoped to demonstrate that practicing video games can improve one’s laparoscopic skills.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Eleven medical students (nine male, two female) volunteered to participate. On day 1, each student played three commercially available video games (Top Spin, XSN Sports; Project Gotham Racing 2, Bizarre Creations; and Amped 2, XSN Sports) for 30 minutes on an X-box (Microsoft, Seattle, WA) and was judged both objectively and subjectively. Next, the students performed four laparoscopic tasks (object transfer, tracing a figure-of-eight, suture placement, and knot-tying) in a swine model and were assessed for time to complete the task, number of errors committed, and hand-eye coordination.

The students were then randomized to control (group A) or “training” (i.e., video game practicing; group B) arms. Two weeks later, all students repeated the laparoscopic skills laboratory and were reassessed. RESULTS: Spearman correlation coefficients demonstrated a significant relation between many of the parameters, particularly time to complete each task and hand-eye coordination at the different games.

There was a weaker association between video game performance and both laparoscopic errors committed and hand-eye coordination. Group B subjects did not improve significantly over those in group A in any measure (P >0.05 for all).

CONCLUSION: Video game aptitude appears to predict the level of laparoscopic skill in the novice surgeon. In this study, practicing video games did not improve one’s laparoscopic skill significantly, but a larger study with more practice time could prove games to be helpful.

[quote]paulMD wrote:
Worry more about getting into medical school and then into an ortho residency. Good luck.[/quote]

[quote]fade wrote:
Play some video games.[/quote]

Ideally you’ve been playing them all your life and are pretty good at them already. Because between first getting into school and then getting into one of the most competitive specialties, you won’t have much time to practice those video games.

I agree with PaulMD. Your time is better spent doing over things. You have a very long journey ahead of you, plenty of time to pick a specialty. For now focus on getting into medical school. I am sure you have heard hundreds of time that medical schools want applicants who are well rounded; focus on that instead.

[quote]paulMD wrote:
I would say not to worry about it at this point so much. The residency training for ortho is fairly long, so you’ll get lots of practice. Worry more about getting into medical school and then into an ortho residency. Good luck.[/quote]

Seriously. If you just really want to feel like you’re doing something, review your biochem and start working on anatomy review.

Read House of God by Samuel Shem. Gomers go to ground.

Also “Hot Lights, Cold Steel” Awesome book about an ortho resident. Study for your MCAT, work on your personal statement and prepare for the waiting game (a.k.a. the admissions process).

Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate all the advice. Rest assure paul and others that I put in my study time for the MCAT, and have been doing so since freshman year.

Basically what I was looking for are suggestions of what to do with any extra free time. Also if any of you have any words of wisdom for the med school application process or the MCAT itself, your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again

Regarding the application process:

Apply really early. Make sure you get your application in on the first day they begin accepting them.

Best way to study for the MCAT is to do well in classes and learn the material during class. Don’t try to cram 2 years of science knowledge into 2 months (this is personal experience).

Good luck

[quote]Mikel0428 wrote:

Since its about the time I start getting mroe serious, I was wondering if any current surgeons or enthusiasts have any reccomendation for additional advanced dexterity-building activities. thanks in advance[/quote]

Play a musical instrument? Piano or guitar would be good choices. Both require an extreme amount of coordination and precision to play a high level.