An assessment of surgical curriculum on “practical year” by students of Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin

Andrzej Żyluk, Zbigniew Szlosser, Piotr Puchalski


Introduction: Modifications to teaching medicine introduced 5 years ago consisted of abolishing the internship, changing the surgical curriculum in the last year of studies by introduction of a so called “practical year”. The objective of this study was investigating how the practical year was undertaken at the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin in the academic year 2017/2018.

Materials and methods: A study was carried in a group of 154 students of the 6th year of Faculty of Medicine, just before the final test-exam in surgery. The questionnaire used in the study consisted of 11 closed questions concerning the organization, course, and accomplishment of the provided program.

Results: The questionnaire results show that the assumed aim of the curriculum, which was a skill/competency-oriente teaching of surgery, was half executed. Students were insufficiently engaged in typical doctor’s activities. One-half of them considered their practical-year as no different from classes practiced in the previous years. Ward-round teaching and the performance of manual skills was considered the most valuable portion of the surgical curriculum. Seminars were scored the lowest, as the least useful. Organization of the classes and the engagement of tutors were evaluated positively by the majority of students. The results of this survey show the grade of accomplishment of the assumed educative aims in teaching surgery in the practical year, and have revealed some drawbacks, which should translate into an improvement of teaching in the forthcoming years.


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

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