Context of Surgical Education

Subject MEDS90006 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8 hours (intensive delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

Students should expect to undertake a minimum of 120 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


University of Melbourne Commercial
The University of Melbourne
Level 3, 442 Auburn Road
Hawthorn, Vic 3122 Australia


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces participants to the discipline of surgical education and the context in which it is situated including regulatory frameworks. Challenges facing the discipline will be explored. Several topics are introduced with the opportunity to pursue further study in subsequent subjects.

Participants have an opportunity to gain an understanding of the structure of the course, consider study skills and resources to support learning and use a range of educational methods to explore the contemporary context of surgical education.

Participants complete a range of exercises (readings, small group discussions – online and in person; web-based writing; journal review; presentations and two essays).

Overall aims of the subject are:

  • To provide participants with the context and expectations of teaching and learning for surgeons and surgical trainees
  • To provide participants with background knowledge on medical and surgical education including the role of government and professional bodies in regulating and monitoring standards
  • To introduce participants to the academic discipline of education with specific linkages to surgical training and continuing professional development (CPD) programs

After completing the subject participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the core educational approaches and methods that are relevant to surgical education
  2. Outline participants' responsibilities in learning
  3. Use a range of media for managing course materials
  4. Describe key policy and governance issues influencing medical and surgical education
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of Government policies relating to medical education and training
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of surgical education and training across universities, medical colleges, specialist societies and associations and health authorities
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of processes and criteria used for accreditation of hospitals and other healthcare facilities for surgical training
  8. Discuss current challenges facing the delivery of medical and surgical education
  9. Identify contemporary areas of research in the medical and surgical education literature
  10. Identify surgical education leaders at local, state, national and international levels
  11. Identify databases and other resources for studying and researching medical and surgical education

• Online activities (Hurdle) The aim of this assessment is to provide students with an opportunity to use the LMS and to reflect on their own and share educational philosophies with other students.
• Presentation (online tutorial) - 15 minute presentation (mid semester) – 30% The assessment enables judgements on verbal presentation skills while addressing core content in surgical education resources. Students are introduced to scholarly resources in medical and surgical education and share a component of this information with each other through online tutorial presentations.
• Essay - 3500 words (end of semester) - 70% In this first written assessment, students are expected to use their experience, evidence-based resources and analytical skills to address one of three designated topics on key contemporary surgical education issues. This forms the basis of generic skills and content that is further developed in other subjects.

Prescribed Texts:

Reading resources will be online.

Three texts will be recommended all of which are just released or in press:

Swanwick T. (Ed.) Understanding Medical Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice, 2010, Wiley: Chichester

Dornan T, Mann K, Scherpbier A. Spencer J. (Eds.) Medical Education: Theory and Practice. Release December 2010, Elsevier

Kneebone R & Fry H. (Eds.) Surgical education in theoretical perspective: enhancing learning, teaching, practice and research. Release January 2011.

Cooke M, Irby D, O’Brien B. (2010) Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency. Jossey-Bass: Stanford

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

• Understanding of the basic concepts in education
• Study skills related to a range of educational methods – e.g. online learning
• Presentation skills
• Academic reading skills
• Academic writing
• Basic skills for reviewing diverse research methodologies

Links to further information:

IT requirements:

Participants will require access to the internet with a minimum connection speed of 256Kbps to access course materials and to participate in on-line discussions and presentations forums. Faster connection speeds are preferred. Participants will also need to verify that their internet connection is configured to allow them to view streamed audio and video files. Test files will be made available for students to test their connections.

Participants are expected to have a headset and microphone connected to their computer for participation in on-line activities.

Participants will be expected to have access to the following Microsoft Office products to fully participate:

  • MS Word
  • MS Powerpoint

All online applications will be web-based and no special software is required.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Surgical Education
Graduate Diploma in Surgical Education
Master of Surgical Education

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