Reviews of the medical school curriculum in the UK and Ireland have recommended the introduction of student-selected components (SSCs). The Department of Surgery in The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has introduced a 6-week surgical SSC, which aims to develop practical clinical skills, provide mentorship and prepare students for internship. Emphasis was placed on exposure to surgical specialities, teaching practical skills and student integration into surgical teams. Students completed an online survey pre- and post-SSC, assessing attitudes towards the course and confidence in performing ward-based and surgical skills. The mean Likert scale scores increased for all the skills assessed. Students felt that the SSC prepared them for their first day of work and strengthened their desire to pursue surgical careers. A surgical SSC has been successful in increasing student confidence in performing practical skills required for commencing work as a doctor. Provision of dedicated SSCs is likely to influence the career choice of students.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->