Surgical Lab: Another Year Of Success

By Dr. Matthew Keats

Drs. Roa, Jeyakumar, Burgess, and I would like to thank the attendees and sponsors Elanco, AVMA Life, and Sandy Spring Bank for their participation in the MDVMA Wound Reconstruction lab. From the presenters’ perspective this is an ideal format for teaching advanced surgical skills. It allocates time to introduce a technique followed by immediate lab demonstration and multiple attempts to practice the skill covered. This process is repeated throughout the day and we, as instructors, often can see the participants’ improvement throughout the course.

Most attendees state the limitations that they have put on their surgical scope early in the lab but will often recant later in the day when they realize that their self-imposed limitations are too strict after reassessing the abilities. Often times, a single bad surgical experience has tainted their entire perception of their capabilities. This occurs so often, I cannot remember the last time I taught a lab in which at least half of the attendees did not bring this up. It is our hope that, by presenting laboratories such as this, we can help lead the attendees on a path that brings them back towards continued development of their surgical skills, problem-solving, and troubleshooting.

It seems that many attendees like the single-problem environment of a lab. This is in contrast to trying to prepare for a live animal case in the clinic with so many other variable that increase stress and self-doubt. We present useful topics specifically selected that our goal is that the attendees can take the techniques back to their hospitals and employ them right away (as we all know knowledge and skill retention drop precipitously).

The CVSS surgeons hope that our attendees were able to gain useful information for them to apply in the clinic and improve their problem-solving strategies for wound management and reconstructive surgeries. We at CVSS are committed to partnering with the MDVMA to provide a direct fund-raising event for the MDVMA and provide its members with an option for a full-day surgical CE lab and will continue to do so in the future.

Matthew Keats
Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists
10000 Old Columbia Road
Columbia, MD  21046

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