Edorium Journal of

Surgery

 
     
Original Article
 
Live animals for preclinical medical student surgical training
Stephanie C DeMasi1, Eriko Katsuta1,2, Kazuake Takabe1,2,3,
1BS, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA, USA.
2MD, PhD, Breast Surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA.
3MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY, USA.

Article ID: 100016S05SD2016
doi:10.5348/S05-2016-16-OA-6

Address correspondence to:
Kazuaki Takabe
Breast Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Elm & Carlton Streets
Buffalo NY 14263
USA

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How to cite this article
DeMasi SC, Katsuta E, Takabe K. Live animals for preclinical medical student surgical training. Edorium J Surg 2016;5:24–31.


Abstract
Aims: The use of live animals for surgical training is a well-known, deliberated topic. However, medical students who use live animals rate the experience high not only in improving their surgical techniques, but also positively influencing their confidence levels in the operating room later in their careers. Therefore, we hypothesized that the use of live animal models is a unique and influential component of preclinical medical education.
Materials and Methods: Medical student performed the following surgical procedures using mice; surgical orthotopic implantation of cancer cells into fat pad and subsequently a radical mastectomy. The improvement of skill was then analyzed.
Results: All cancer cell inoculations were performed successfully. Improvement of surgical skills during the radical mastectomy procedure was documented in all parameters. All wounds healed without breakdown or dehiscence. The appropriate interval between interrupted sutures was ascertained after fifth wound closure. The speed of interrupted sutures was doubled by last wound closure. The time required to complete a radical mastectomy decreased by almost half. A single animal died immediately following the operation due to inappropriate anesthesia, which was attributed to the lack of understanding of the overall operative management.
Conclusion: Surgical training using live animals for preclinical medical students provides a unique learning experience, not only in improving surgical skills but also and arguably most importantly, to introduce the student to the complexities of the perioperative environment in a way that most closely resembles the stress and responsibility that the operating room demands.

Keywords: Animal models, Education, Mice, Mastectomy, Surgical skills, Training


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Author Contributions:
Stephanie C. DeMasi – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Acquisition of data, Analysis and interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Eriko Katsuta – Analysis and interpretation of data, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Kazuaki Takabe – Analysis and interpretation of data, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Guarantor of submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
None
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
Copyright
© 2016 Stephanie C DeMasi et al. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.



About The Authors

Stephanie DeMasi is a third year medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Her area of interest includes translational surgical research, medical student surgical training, and surgical oncology. She intends to pursue a surgical residency after completing her four years of medical school.



Eriko Katsuta is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Division of Breast Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Her area of interest includes basic and translational research in surgical oncology.



Kazuaki Takabe is Professor of Oncology, Alfiero Foundation Chair and Clinical Chief of Breast Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as Professor of Surgery, University at Buffalo, State University of New York Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. His research interest include Breast Cancer, Sphingolipids, Animal Models, and Surgical Education.




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