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Education

Relationships Between Surgery and Medicine That Are Changing

Surgical Research

Surgical research is critical for advancing the knowledge and practice of surgery and medicine. It provides surgeons like Armen Parajian with the tools to improve patient care, enhance their understanding of biological mechanisms underlying disease processes, and inform clinical decision-making.

Despite the increasing importance of surgical research and its impact on surgery and medicine, surgeons have become less inclined to conduct basic science or clinical research in recent years [5,6,7]. This has led to a decline in surgeons’ publication rates and funding applications from them.

Despite the challenges, surgical research remains an essential component of surgical training and a vital tool for advancing the practice of surgery. Nevertheless, developing a surgical research enterprise requires more than just research support; it also requires supporting and protecting clinical investigators at all stages of their careers.

Surgical Education

Surgical education is a critical and ongoing process of preparing surgeons for the future. It involves learning theory, teaching strategies, curriculum development and for the advanced learner, assessment and educational leadership.

In the United States, medical residency training has evolved from a Halsteadian “see one, do one, teach one” model to a more balanced approach focused on patient safety and resident well-being. Today, residents are expected to work a maximum of 80 hours a week and have allotted protected time for education and training outside the operating room.

Increasing time and resource constraints, technological advances propelled by new information sources, and rising patient expectations have created unique challenges for contemporary surgical educators. These challenges are causing many to seek more innovative ways to train the next generations of surgical trainees.

Surgical Technology

Surgical technology is an essential aspect of surgery and medicine. It involves the preparation of operating rooms and sterile supplies for surgical procedures. Technologists also work directly with doctors and nurses as they perform operations.

Currently, surgical technologists are working with various technologies to improve the quality of medical care and increase efficiency in the operating room. These innovations range from robotic surgery to intelligent imaging systems and 3D-printed implants.

Researchers are making significant progress in cutting costs and improving surgery efficiency. For example, researchers at the Army and Navy have found that a plastic surgical retractor they designed can perform the same functions as more expensive metal instruments.

While surgical technology has made tremendous advances, it is still a field that requires the human touch. Empathy before and after surgery is critical to maintaining a patient’s trust in surgeons.

Surgical Collaboration

Surgical collaboration is an essential part of a patient’s care. It includes collaborating with medical colleagues on developing new technology and its integration into surgical practice.

Increasing augmented reality technologies allow surgeons to work remotely with other surgeons worldwide. This technology lets surgeons see their operating environment, guide procedures, and remotely identify anatomical structures.

These technologies are crucial steps in the evolution of surgery and medicine. They allow surgeons to work together simultaneously to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

This study examined communication and relationship dynamics in interdisciplinary surgical teams that performed routine and complex surgical procedures for a long duration. It was found that health professionals in the Type 1 and Type 2 groups exhibited proactive and intuitive communication (Type 1) and used appropriate coordination strategies. In contrast, Type 3 and Type 4 teams showed inattentive and ambiguous communication (Type 3) and inappropriate coordination strategies.