• The Belfast musculoskeletal ultrasound course.

      Taggart, Allister J; Wright, Stephen A; Ball, Elisabeth; Kane, David; Wright, Gary; Regional Rheumatology Unit, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. allister.taggart@ntlworld.com (Rheumatology (Oxford, England), 2009-09)
      To conduct a training course in musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) for rheumatologists in Northern Ireland with the aim of equipping the participants with a basic knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of MSUS as they are applied to rheumatology.
    • Hand-assisted laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy skills acquisition: augmented reality simulator versus human cadaver training models.

      Leblanc, Fabien; Senagore, Anthony J; Ellis, Clyde N; Champagne, Bradley J; Augestad, Knut M; Neary, Paul C; Delaney, Conor P; Division of Colorectal Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5047, USA. (Journal of surgical education, 2010)
      The aim of this study was to compare a simulator with the human cadaver model for hand-assisted laparoscopic colorectal skills acquisition training.
    • The Health Professions Admission Test (HPAT) score and leaving certificate results can independently predict academic performance in medical school: do we need both tests?

      Halpenny, D; Cadoo, K; Halpenny, M; Burke, J; Torreggiani, W C; Department of Radiology, AMNCH, Tallaght, Dublin 24. (2010-11)
      A recent study raised concerns regarding the ability of the health professions admission test (HPAT) Ireland to improve the selection process in Irish medical schools. We aimed to establish whether performance in a mock HPAT correlated with academic success in medicine. A modified HPAT examination and a questionnaire were administered to a group of doctors and medical students. There was a significant correlation between HPAT score and college results (r2: 0.314, P = 0.018, Spearman Rank) and between leaving cert score and college results (r2: 0.306, P = 0.049, Spearman Rank). There was no correlation between leaving cert points score and HPAT score. There was no difference in HPAT score across a number of other variables including gender, age and medical speciality. Our results suggest that both the HPAT Ireland and the leaving certificate examination could act as independent predictors of academic achievement in medicine.
    • Surgical instruction for general practitioners: how, who and how often?

      Collins, Anne M; Ridgway, Paul F; Hassan, Mohammed S U; Chou, Christy W K; Hill, Arnold D; Kneafsey, Brian; Department of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. (J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg, 2010-07)
      Educational programmes, designed to meet the training needs of General Practitioners (GPs) performing minor surgical procedures, have previously been shown to increase their surgical workload. The change in the level of competence following these programmes has not been assessed. The aims of this study were two-fold: to evaluate the vertical mattress suture for construct validity and to assess the impact of plastic surgery training on the surgical skill of GPs. Thirty non-consultant hospital doctors and 27 self-selected GPs were included. Using a modified objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSATS) scoring system, construct validity of the vertical mattress suture was confirmed. The median total OSATS score was 16 points (26.7%) in the novice group (medical registrars), 38.5 points (64.2%) in the intermediate group (surgical SHOs) and 59 points (98.3%) in the expert group (surgical registrars, p<0.001, Kruskal-Wallis test). Objective assessment in the GP group immediately following practical instruction revealed a median overall improvement of 31.7% (19 points) in total OSATS scores (p<0.001, Friedman non-parametric test, F). At six months follow-up all course participants had improved compared to their baseline. A median overall improvement of 13 points (21.7%) was noted (p<0.001, F). However, the majority (80%, n=20) had deteriorated from the standard set immediately after the course with a median overall reduction in total OSATS scores of six points (10%, p=0.001, F). Plastic surgery training is immediately efficacious in improving the technical proficiency of GPs. Through objective assessment of a standardised suture task we demonstrated a low rate of educational decay of 10% over a six-month period.