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1.  The use of thoracoscopy to enhance medical students’ interest and understanding of thoracic anatomy 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2012;7(3):145-148.
To develop a video-based educational tool designed for teaching thoracic anatomy and to examine whether this tool would increase students’ stimulation and motivation for learning anatomy.
Our video-based tool was developed by recording different thoracoscopic procedures focusing on intraoperative live thoracic anatomy. The tool was then integrated into a pre-existing program for first year medical students (n = 150), and included cadaver dissection of the thorax and review of clinical problem scenarios of the respiratory system. Students were guided through a viewing of the videotape that demonstrated live anatomy of the thorax (15 minutes) and then asked to complete a 5-point Likert-type questionnaire assessing the video's usefulness. Apart from this, a small group of entirely different set of students was divided into two groups, one group to view the 15-minute video presentation of thoracoscopy and chest anatomy and the other group to attend a 15-minute lecture of chest anatomy using radiological images. Both groups took a 10-item pretest and post-test multiple choice questions examination to assess short-term knowledge gained.
Of 150 medical students, 119 completed the questionnaires, 88.6% were satisfied with the thoracoscopic video as a teaching tool, 86.4% were satisfied with the quality of the images, 69.2% perceived it to be beneficial in learning anatomy, 96.2% increased their interest in learning anatomy, and 88.5% wanted this new teaching tool to be implemented to the curriculum. Majority (80.7%) of the students increased their interest in surgery as a future career. Post-test scores were significantly higher in the thoracoscopy group (P = 0.0175).
Incorporating live surgery using thoracoscopic video presentation in the gross anatomy teaching curriculum had high acceptance and satisfaction scores from first year medical students. The video increased students’ interest in learning, in clinically applying anatomic fact, and in surgery as a future career.
PMCID: PMC3425046  PMID: 22924072
Medical students; thoracic anatomy; thoracoscopy
2.  Effects of implementation of an urgent surgical care service on subspecialty general surgery training 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2010;53(2):119-125.
In July 2007, a large Canadian teaching hospital realigned its general surgery services into elective general surgery subspecialty-based services (SUBS) and a new urgent surgical care (USC) service (also know in the literature as an acute care surgery service). The residents on SUBS had their number of on-call days reduced to enable them to focus on activities related to SUBS. Our aim was to examine the effect of the creation of the USC service on the educational experiences of SUBS residents.
We enrolled residents who were on SUBS for the 6 months before and after the introduction of the USC service. We collected data by use of a survey, WEB eVAL and recorded attendance at academic half days. Our 2 primary outcomes were residents’ attendance at ambulatory clinics and compliance with the reduction in the number of on-call days. Our secondary outcomes included residents’ time for independent study, attendance at academic half days, operative experience, attendance at multidisciplinary rounds and overall satisfaction with SUBS.
Residents on SUBS had a decrease in the mean number of on-call days per resident per month from 6.28 to 1.84 (p = 0.006), an increase in mean attendance at academic half days from 65% to 87% (p = 0.028), at multidisciplinary rounds (p = 0.002) and at ambulatory clinics and an increase in independent reading time (p = 0.015), and they reported an improvement in their work environment. There was no change in the amount of time residents spent in the operating room or in their overall satisfaction with SUBS.
Residents’ education in the SUBS structure was positively affected by the creation of a USC service. Compliance with the readjustment of on-call duties was high and was identified as the single most significant factor in enabling residents to take full advantage of the unique educational opportunities available only while on SUBS.
PMCID: PMC2845952  PMID: 20334744
3.  Occlusion of the common and internal iliac arteries for aortoiliac aneurysm repair: experience with the Amplatzer vascular plug 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2009;52(6):E276-E280.
We sought to evaluate and describe our centre’s experience with the Amplatzer vascular plug (AVP) for the occlusion of common and internal iliac arteries (CIA; IIA) during endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR).
We performed a retrospective analysis of 20 consecutive patients between October 2006 and December 2007, who underwent occlusion of the CIA or IIA before or during EVAR to prevent endoleak.
Among these 20 patients, 21 occlusion procedures occurred and 20 were successful. In the only unsuccessful case, the patient had EVAR, but occlusion with an AVP was not possible because of severe narrowing at the origin of the vessel. Of the successfully treated patients, 2 presented with ruptured aneurysms, whereas the others had elective procedures. Eleven patients received aortouni-iliac grafts and femoral–femoral bypass, and 9 patients received a bifurcated stent graft. In 5 patients, the AVP occlusion and EVAR procedures were staged; in these cases occlusion occurred first, followed by EVAR on average 29 (standard deviation [SD] 23) days later. We deployed 7 AVPs in the CIA, whereas 13 were deployed in the IIA. The average diameter of the vessels occluded was 10 (SD 1) mm and the average size of the device used was 13 (SD 1) mm, representing a device diameter 28% (SD 2%) greater than the vessel diameter. We used a single device in 18 patients, whereas 2 devices were deployed in the same artery in 2 patients. Four patients underwent concomitant coil embolization. On follow-up computed tomography (CT) scans, all occlusion procedures were clinically successful. At the 14-month (SD 1 mo) follow-up, 4 patients had a small type-II endoleak unrelated to the occlusion procedure and 1 had a type-I endoleak that required graft limb extension. Four patients had buttock claudication but none had changes in sexual function, ischemic complications or device dislodgement on CT scans.
The AVP is a safe and effective method to occlude the CIA and IIA in patients undergoing EVAR.
PMCID: PMC2792393  PMID: 20011164

Results 1-3 (3)