How to Operate: for MRCS candidates and other surgical trainees, includes 3 DVDs
September 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
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The videos provide a clearly narrated guide to operative practice, pitched for the junior trainee starting out in the operating theatre. The narration tackles the realities of operations and their difficulties with useful tips and a common sense, occasionally humorous approach not found in more senior and specialist titles that often seem to present a more polished version of reality than one encounters in your own operating theatre.
The procedures videoed cover the breadth of a typical core surgical training rotation, including general, vascular, urological, orthopaedic, upper gastrointestinal, ENT, breast, and colorectal procedures. For example, within upper gastrointestinal surgery the videos feature gastrectomy, splenectomy, gastrojejunostomy, open cholecystectomy, and thoracotomy.
It is perhaps surprising that no-one has already put such a training package together. Many have used Acland’s anatomy DVDs for MRCS revision, and although sub-specialist operative training DVDs do exist these are limited in scope and are prohibitively expensive.
It must surely have been a labour of love to assemble and edit these training videos all together, and the author and production team are to be congratulated on bringing this to life as well as they have. In the modern multimedia age this could well become as essential as Kirk’s seminal text on basic surgical techniques was to previous generations climbing the slippery surgical ladder.
Given the broad coverage of disparate specialties, from orthopaedics to urology, the package will perhaps have limited interest to more senior trainees and one wonders whether dedicated editions featuring each of the nine surgical specialties will be forthcoming in future. Certainly there would be demand for this. Similarly, the level of the accompanying book is no replacement for operative surgery bibles such as Farquharson's or Kirk’s, but neither does it set out to be.
Overall, many surgical trainees at the core/senior house office/resident level will find [this] greatly beneficial to their training." (Ed Fitzgerald MRCS, Specialist Registrar, General Surgery, The Royal Marsden Hospital, London)