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UCT Surgical Society Surgical Skills Workshops

Surgery is a hands-on profession which requires every surgeon to be skilled in their hand movements, manipulation, and 3-dimensional imaging. The skills portfolio forms one of the major pillars of the UCT surgical society which aims to provide members with a greater insight and practical surgical skills experience.

Recently the skills portfolio has been brought back into focus for the local members of UCT with the introduction of a 3 part orthopaedic surgical course and increased frequency and quality of our traditional workshops. The orthopaedic series includes a workshop on plaster-of-Paris, joint examination, and joint injections with certification by the UCT department of Orthopaedics. Furthermore, we sought to increase the frequency of our basic skills workshops with senior committee members taking on a class teaching basic sutures to the members of the society. We also hold advanced skills workshops in which the main aim was to provide students basic techniques regarding bowel.  The skills portfolio has continued to keep up-to-date with modern day skills with the annual laparoscopic skills workshop, a skill that is not taught to undergraduate medical students as part of their core curriculum. The workshop aims allow students to familiarize themselves with the instruments, machinery, and techniques.

In keeping with the competitive nature of the surgical profession, the skills portfolio hosts an annual TopKnife competition where members compete against each other on skills that were taught throughout the year. The competition was initially started in 2012 and has become one of the main calendar events for the society.

With the skills portfolio, our aim is to ensure that the members have access to world-class surgical skills workshops that will allow them to groom their surgical skills from an early stage in their medical career. This portfolio requires us to organise with various surgeons within the Cape Town, the skills lab, and the students thus providing a suitable time and environment for learning.

This portfolio would not be possible without the assistance and support of Prof Kahn, Prof Dunn, Prof Numanoglu, Dr Nick Kruger, Dr Sobnach as well as the skills lab manager Mr Jason Lewis and Mr Clive Van Geems