Opinions on basic surgical skills laboratory for undergraduate medical education: optional or a necessity in Nigeria


  • Rex Friday Ogoronte A. Ijah Department of Surgery, PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Friday E. Aaron Department of Surgery, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Nze J. Jebbin 3Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt, and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Solomon N. Elenwo Department of Surgery, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Christie N. Mato Department of Anesthesiology, University of Port Harcourt, and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria




Basic Surgical Skills, Laboratory, Undergraduate Medical Training, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Background: The foundation in training in any profession attracts considerable attention because it is crucial to the long-term survival of that profession. The traditional method of acquiring set skills has always been that of initial observation, then assisting in the act, and finally performing under supervision. Today, there is a notable shift in that method of training for the acquisition of surgical skills, with emphasis on acquiring the skills first outside of the operating room in dry and wet laboratories. This study aims to evaluate the knowledge, experiences and opinions of medical doctors in Port Harcourt on basic surgical skills for undergraduate medical training in Nigeria.

Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among 564 Medical Doctors in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, using total population. Information on demographics, knowledge and experiences on basic surgical skills was collated and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0.

Results: The mean age of the respondents was 34.89±9.25. Mean knowledge score of basic surgical skills during undergraduate medical training was 63.73±14.80, and 86.52±16.32 during houseman-ship. Four hundred and forty-nine (79.6%) respondents had experienced practical challenges when carrying out basic surgical skills during medical practice after graduation. First experience at suturing patient's wound was full of struggling/difficulty for 213 (37.8%) respondents.

Conclusion: Although the mean knowledge score for basic surgical skills among respondents was above average, practical experiences revealed that some respondents had difficulty in carrying out significant number of basic surgical skills. Supervised usage of basic surgical skills laboratory should be mandatory to ensure that it fulfils the purpose of its establishment.


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