General surgery

Researches initial response to the article was surprise. They had not heard or participate in any such conversations about declining dexterity in today’s students, despite there being heavily involve in medical education surgical education in particular. As they reflected on the article; They evolve from thinking it is controversial to being apply that it is publish, especially on such a large stage.

Surgical education

They shared my thoughts in a thread on Twitter and write a letter to the editor of the New York Times; which has gone unpublishe. Therefore They want to share with you what they believe are the flaws inherent in that article; and I also wish to suggest a different approach to medical education, one that doesn’t blame learners.

The main supposition of the article is that faculty at medical schools in the United States and the United Kingdom have observed a substantial decline in manual dexterity among medical trainees. However; no academic study or research is cited; only anecdotal opinions and accounts are provided.

Dexterity of medical and surgical

A quick search for “manual dexterity surgeons” pulls up multiple articles, most of which are irrelevant to the claims made in the New York Times article.  One study from 1989 compared manual dexterity of medical and surgical residentsand found no difference. Another study compared surgeons’ dominant and nondominant hands; the results are mix. A third study compared manual dexterity (as measured by carving soap) with surgical skills in terms of residency rank, cognitive skills, and decision making. No correlation was found.

Strikingly, They could not find any data to support the suggestion that manual dexterity among students is decreasing. In lieu of such data, researches only have my own experiences. For 3 years, They are surgical director of the Washington University Institute for Surgical Education, where we trained medical students, residents, fellows, and others in surgical skills. I also am the co-chair of the Surgical Education Research Group within the Association for Surgical Education.

Trained medical students

Researches  have been attending the Association for Surgical Education annual meeting for over 10 years now.  can say, unequivocally, that before this article, They had never had a single conversation with any of my colleagues about a decline in student dexterity and had encountered no studies on the subject. T

he concern about swiping and tapping on phones decreasing dexterity seems misplaced. Smartphones did not exist before 2007. Anyone who was 4 or 5 years old at that time would only be 16 or 17 years old today. Because Even someone who was 10 years old at the advent of smartphones would be only 22 years old now.