Before starting their orthopaedic surgery residencies at hospitals across the country, fourth-year medical students from Feinberg had the opportunity to practice the skills and techniques they will need as residents during a four-session course in June. Sessions in the course, hosted by
Northwestern Simulation in the Department of Medical Education and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, covered topics including casting, implants, arthroscopy and suturing.
Students familiarize themselves with the tools they will work with during their orthopaedic surgery residencies and practiced using them on synthetic bones.
Francis Lovecchio, ’16 MD, uses an oscillating saw while practicing a total knee implant on synthetic bone models. “The session taught me the basics of handling various orthopaedic power instruments, which I know will help me look more comfortable in the operating room. Having an early exposure to a step-by-step tutorial will ensure I get the most out of my beginning years in residency.”
(Left to right) Matthew Beal, MD, assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, walks through the tools that are used when repairing fractures with Nitin Goyal, ’16 MD.
Beal reminds students that the goal of the session is to become comfortable with the tools they will be using as future orthopaedic surgeons. “If you’ve seen it once before, you aren’t thinking about how to hold a saw or drill, and you’ll be more focused on how to do the procedure,” he said.
Goyal learned about external fixators, plates and screws and practiced using all of them to repair fractures on synthetic bone models. “To have an intimate, practical session learning the fundamentals of plates and screws was an incredibly valuable induction into the field,” he said. “It was excellent preparation for intern year, both technically and conceptually, in understanding intraoperative management of orthopaedic trauma.”
In the last session, students practiced suturing skills and arthroscopy, a procedure that allows surgeons to see, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint.
Students practice inserting and using an arthroscope, a small camera instrument, to inspect a joint needing repair or the removal of damaged tissue.