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Trainee surgeons at the Royal College of Surgeons' new Wolfson Surgical Skills Centre, in London, practise the techniques required for aligning joints during orthopaedic operations, such as knee replacements. The opening of the £3m (€4m; $6m) surgical skills facility this week marks the first stage of the college's project to provide the UK with a world leading training centre by 2010.
The Human Tissues Act means that for the first time surgeons in training can practise surgical techniques on donated human bodies before they enter an operating theatre. The fact that the centre's tables are fully interconnected by monitors means that up to 50 surgeons can learn collaboratively at any one time.
And trainees no longer need to travel to the capital to brush up their skills. A high resolution video wall means that education can be provided remotely “with courses run from the college and delivered to trainees locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Dick Rainsbury, director of education at the college.
With the development of more than 150 new surgical procedures in the past 10 years, the demand for training has never been higher. “There are expert surgeons based all around the country, now all trainees can have access to that knowledge no matter where they are based,” said Bernard Ribeiro, president of the college.