Assessment of the quality of the 4th year surgical curriculum at the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin for the academic year 2016/2017

Andrzej Żyluk, Zbigniew Szlosser


Introduction: The objective of this study was assessment of the course, quality and accomplishment of 4th year surgical curriculum in Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin (in Poland) for the academic year 2016/2017.

Materials and methods: A questionnaire-survey was carried out in a group of 97 Polish students in the 5th year of the Medical Faculty just before the seminar-block of surgery. Main topics of the questionnaire items concerned students’ opinion on the expected usefulness of the acquired surgical knowledge for future medical practice, acquired manual skills, classes conducted in the operative theatre and overall organization of classes.

Results: Knowledge from general surgery was scored by students the highest as potentially most useful for future medical practice. Assisting in operations and learning manual skills (mostly inserting stitches on a pig trotter) was considered the most valuable portion of surgical curriculum. These skills were also believed to be the closest to the meaning of the term “skill/competency-oriented teaching” surgery. Theatre classes were considered valuable only for students assisting in operations, but for most of the passive observers it was a waste of time. Less than a half the students took history and examined patients with common urological and surgical disorders. Most (96%) responders considered an inadequate amount of time assigned for manual skills and ward-round teaching the greatest drawback of the 4th year surgical curriculum.

Conclusions: Outcomes of this study showed the students’ expectations in surgery lessons in 4th year of university curriculum and what a grade of its performance was. Awareness of this may have an effect on modification of the curriculum and methods of undergraduate teaching surgery.


surgical curriculum; undergraduate medical education; teaching methods; teaching outcome measures

Full Text:



Żyluk A, Szlosser Z, Puchalski P, Walaszek I. Ocena jakości nauczania chirurgii w Pomorskim Uniwersytecie Medycznym w latach 2015–2017. Pol Prz Chir 2018;90(4):17-22.

Żyluk A, Puchalski P, Szlosser Z. The usefulness of the surgical knowledge and skills acquired via the university curriculum for doctors’ medical practice several years after graduation. J Surg Educ 2015;72(3):509-14.

O’Neill R, Shapiro M, Merchant A. The role of the operating room in medical student education: differing perspectives of learners and educators. J Surg Educ 2018;75(1):14–28. doi: 0.1016/j.jsurg.2017.06.013.

Schwind CJ, Boehler ML, Rogers DA, Williams RG, Dunnington G, Folse R, et al. Variables influencing medical student learning in the operating room. Am J Surg 2004;187(2):198-200.

Zundel S, Wolf I, Christen HJ, Huwendiek S. What supports students’ education in the operating room? A focus group study including students’ and surgeons’ views. Am J Surg 2015;210(5):951-9.

Hamaoui K, Saadeddin M, Sadideen H. Surgical skills training: time to start early. Clin Teach 2014;11(3):179-83.

Force J, Thomas I, Buckley F. Reviving post-take surgical ward round teaching. Clin Teach 2014;11(2):109-15.

Kaur N, Gupta A, Saini P. A needs assessment study of undergraduate surgical education. Natl Med J India 2011;24(5):292-3.

Raupach T, Anders S, Pukrop T, Hasenfuss G, Harendza S. Effects of “minimally invasive curricular surgery” – a pilot intervention study to improve the quality of bedside teaching in medical education. Med Teach 2009;31(9):e425-30.

Ker J, Cantillon P, Ambrose L. Teaching on a ward round. BMJ 2008;337:a1930.

Ruesseler M, Obertacke U. Teaching in daily clinical practice: how to teach in a clinical setting. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg 2011;37(3):313-6.

Claridge A. What is the educational value of ward rounds? A learner and teacher perspective. Clin Med (Lond) 2011;11(6):558-62.

Hurst JW. The overlecturing and underteaching of clinical medicine. Arch Inter Med 2004;164(15):1605-8.

Dewhurst G. Time for change: teaching and learning on busy post-take ward rounds. Clin Med (Lond) 2010;10(3):231-4.

Kimble A, Behar N. Work-based learning in a surgical ward round setting. Clin Teach 2009;6:229-32.

Spencer J. Learning and teaching in the clinical environment. BMJ 2003;326(7389):591-4.


Copyright (c) 2020 Andrzej Żyluk, Zbigniew Szlosser

License URL: