Many specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists feel inadequately trained to deal with certain situations such as injury to bowel, bladder, ureter and major vessels, and value further training to prevent and manage these problems. We present the structure, objectives and rationale for a surgical skills workshop, which is an intensive practical learning experience aimed to improve the performance of obstetricians and gynaecologists. The overall objective of the workshop is improvement in the prevention and management of complications in obstetric and gynaecological surgery. Over 100 participants have completed the workshop so far. Pre-workshop preparation includes anatomical illustrations to guide reading and a training video describing surgical skills, ewe anatomy and hysterectomy in the ewe. There are four modules: anatomy includes an interactive lecture, cadaveric dissection and examination of prosections with specific learning tasks. Surgical skills involves the demonstration, practice and learning of techniques needed to deal with unexpected operative injury to bowel, bladder, ureter and major blood vessels. Live animal surgery on a ewe allows further supervised practice of the previously learned skills plus the repair of serious vascular injury. Case presentations allow each participant to present a complicated case in a facilitated group session with discussion and feedback from their peers. This session is controlled, non-threatening and a valuable interactive learning experience. Participant feedback suggests that this workshop format is useful and appears to improve the confidence, competence and performance of the participants. This workshop is presented as a template on which other educational activities can be developed.
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