Primary Article

Basic Skin Flaps for the General Surgeon: A Teaching Method

Authors: MAJ ROBERT C. DINSMORE, MD, LTC JAMES H. NORTH, MD

Abstract

Background. Teaching residents the design and creation of skin flaps is challenging because the use of skin flaps is not common enough during the course of a typical residency to provide a broad experience base.

Methods. A 12 x 12-inch board with a 1/8-inch foam rubber covering was designed to provide for the creation of four flaps and one Z-plasty. A lecture and practical exercise were used to teach basic techniques. Performance was measured by preexamination and postexamination, as well as by a resident satisfaction survey.

Results. Mean scores improved by 45%. The resident survey revealed an average subjective rating was 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5. All residents rated this format superior to traditional lecture instruction. Total cost to provide laboratory experience for 16 residents was $50. Materials can be recovered and reused at a cost of $0.40 each.

Conclusions. The materials developed provided an effective, inexpensive nonbiologic model for teaching preoperative skills.

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References