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Master of Surgical Science (MC-SURGSC) // Attributes, outcomes and skills

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Intended learning outcomes

The subjects introduced in year 3 have learning outcomes at AQF9. They are predominantly associated with peri-operative care, professionalism and research practice.

Surgical knowledge:

  • Outline fundamental principles of surgery drawing on biomedical and clinical sciences
  • Describe a range of surgical presentations representing examples of trauma, sepsis, hemorrhage, malignancy and tissue ischemia and luminal obstruction
  • Describe the fundamentals of wound healing and care
  • Describe the anatomy and embryology relevant to clinical situations
  • Describe the pathophysiology of common clinical conditions
  • Describe oncological principles

Surgical skills:

  • Demonstrate a range of basic surgical skills including handling instruments, incisions, handling tissue, local anaesthetic techniques and tying sutures etc.
  • Assess and manage surgical wounds
  • Demonstrate competence in patient-centred surgical assessments of (simulated) patients
  • Demonstrate effective skills in consenting patients for surgery including explanations of risk information

Surgical practice knowledge:

  • Describe core approaches to surgery – open, endoscopic/endoluminal and laparoscopic/natural orifice – and their general indications
  • Apply concepts of molecular biology to management of common conditions
  • Discuss surgical approaches and endoscopic techniques
  • Apply principles of patient safety in surgical practice
  • Apply basic biomedical science knowledge to clinical surgical scenarios
  • Discuss the application and interpretation of imaging techniques
  • Identify principles of pre-, intra- and post-operative care
  • Describe principles of anaesthesia, including complications
  • Describe a range of surgical complications including haemorrhage, sepsis and cardiorespiratory conditions
  • Assess nutritional requirements of the surgical patient in the perioperative phase and methods of delivery
  • Describe risks of thrombo embolic complications and methods of treatment including prophylaxis
  • Describe the management of sepsis including the principles of antibiotic treatment
  • Describe features of contemporary surgical practice from a socio-politico-economic perspective
  • Outline the nine surgical competencies and their relationship to levels of surgical training

Professional knowledge

  • Define professionalism from a sociological perspective and apply to the role of a surgeon
  • Identify the role of the RACS (and other professional associations) in its contract with society
  • Describe common lapses in professionalism and their origins
  • Outline strategies for identifying and reporting on lapses in professionalism
  • Apply assessment measures of professionalism in the context of surgical practice
  • Describe the breadth of surgical careers including specialization, research and education roles
  • Plan their own surgical training pathway
  • Outline leadership theory and its application in surgical practice
  • Develop self-care strategies to meet the demands of a surgical career

Research knowledge and skills:

  • Implement and write up a surgical research project
  • Appraise literature relevant to a surgical research project
  • Demonstrate capacity to engage in reflective, critical discussion of the area of particular interest in surgery
  • Evaluate research data in the light of what is known on the given surgical topic
  • Manage all phases of a surgical research project
  • Evaluate ethical issues associated with the conduct of the surgical research project
  • Identify challenges to conducting surgical research
  • Demonstrate formal research presentation skills

Generic skills

The generic skills will be addressed through educational methods, course work, formative and, summative assessments. These generic skills are fundamental skills at entry level for participants so they will be extended through the Master of Surgical Science.

  • Initiative, autonomy, organization
  • Adaptability and responsibility as a learner
  • Problem-solving
  • Analyse critically, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories
  • Research and apply established theories to practice
  • Oral communication
  • Finding, evaluating and using relevant information
  • Written communication
  • Working with others and in teams

Graduate attributes

Graduates of the Master of Surgical Science will demonstrate the University of Melbourne graduate attributes. These attributes are embedded in the values of the course. The attributes will be manifested through educational methods, formative and summative assessment, role modelling, mentoring and participation in a community of practice. The attributes reflect the characteristics of those in or developing professional practice, which aligns with our participant cohort, that is, those seeking a career in surgery or another procedural speciality. On graduation participants will reflect the following attributes as set out by the University of Melbourne:

  • Academically excellent:
    • Have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
    • Have in-depth foundational knowledge to enter a surgical or other procedural speciality
    • Reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
    • Be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
    • Be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Knowledgeable across disciplines:
    • Examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge
    • Expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse cases/scenarios
    • Have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • Leaders in communities:
    • Initiate and implement constructive change in their profession
    • Have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
    • Mentor future generations of learners
    • Engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs
  • Attuned to cultural diversity:
    • Value different cultures
    • Be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
    • Have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
    • Respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values
  • Active global citizens:
    • Accept social and civic responsibilities
    • Be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
    • Have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics