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bafanguy
31st Oct 2018, 10:34
I guess this is legit. It touches on a couple of subjects:

https://www.bbc.com/news/education-46019429

Jack D
31st Oct 2018, 11:51
I found the article interesting but not surprising .
The lack of hands on or creative education probably manifests itself in many professions where “handwork” and coordination is required .. bit worrying

I liked the inclusion of woodwork or needlework as a useful background skill for future surgeons .. makes sense

Buster11
31st Oct 2018, 12:29
The use of the word 'creative' by the media has a lot to answer for. It's almost always taken to imply ballet or music or art or theatre or film or novels, but in fact the most creative activity of all is engineering, without which absolutely none of the rest could even exist.

The stifling omnipresence of 'elf 'n' safety that discourages schools from letting kids handle anything that might conceivably injure them (or, in reality, might encourage parents to sue the school) rules out anything like woodwork or metalwork. No wonder using a scalpel or suturing a wound comes as a bit of a mystery to them. For those of us who cut our teeth (but rarely our fingers) at the age of ten using one of dad's double-edged razor blades to cut 1/16th sheet balsa to make something that actually flew, the occasional appendectomy would probably have been a doddle.

Wouldn't it be nice if now and then Radio 4 had some discussions with engineers about the real challenges of designing a more efficient wing or a better bridge or a more durable car tyre, rather than interminable people babbling on about their feelings and how privileged they were to work with dear Sir Larry. Having a presenter who didn't think it necessary to keep interjecting with corny links and dumbed down analogies would be a good start.

snchater
31st Oct 2018, 12:43
Back in 1990s prospective dental students were required to bring an example of their own handywork to their interview.
The boys always brought Airfix kits, the girls embroidery.
I have always thought (having spent many hours watching junior surgeons attempting to stitch) that prospective surgeons should have their manual dexterity assessed before embarking on surgical training.

ShyTorque
31st Oct 2018, 12:51
My wife knits a great cardigan but she's no brain surgeon....and the most clumsy person I know!

Uplinker
31st Oct 2018, 13:40
Professor ‘Kneebone’, what a fantastic name, given his profession !

@Buster11, well said. Engineering seems to be seen as too boring by the general population, despite them using hundreds of products and items created and designed by engineers every day. Engineers and scientists are very good at what they do, but we are maybe not so good at talking to the uninitiated, and are too often negatively labelled ‘geeks’ or ‘nerds’.*

We see television programs about art, which analyse how an artist has created a certain painting for example. It would be great to have similar programs, analysing the engineering challenges and innovation involved in designing and testing an aircraft wing, or gas turbine engine or a mobile phone etc. The people in charge of programing on television tend to be the arts or politics or sports types, while the engineering types are very much in the backroom, making the television happen on a technical level. Therefore, the few programs which do talk about engineering tend to be on a very simplistic level or transmitted at unsocial times.

When I see a guy on the side of a road with a flat tyre, summoning help on his phone because he doesn’t know how to change the wheel, I can’t help thinking we have lost something !!

*Love “The Big Bang Theory”, where the scientists and engineers are interesting and funny people.

rotornut
31st Oct 2018, 14:12
My wife had a cut on the right side of her right eye. A fourth year medical student in emergency did a superb job of stitching the tiny cut. So they're not all incompetent.

Grayfly
31st Oct 2018, 14:28
TV today has to be entertaining much more than being informative. So science and engineering programmes have to fit that formula to ensure viewing figures around the advertisers or production company requirements are met.

I've just retired from a 45-year career as a professional engineer, with several charters in various disciplines Apart from my peers, clients and subcontractors, nobody really had a clue what I did. I just solved problems and produced solutions. I had some Eureka moments, but not enough for a TV programme. Early in my career, I thought someone should have produced a drama series called It Shouldn't Happen to an Engineer, but someone stole my idea and gave it to vets, who stuck their arms up cows backsides for the amusement of TV viewers. Engineers and scientists don't really have an equivalent scenario.

There have been the occasional interesting tv documentary on building rockets etc which just about keep the general public attention span.

There was an interesting programme recently on building a tunnel underneath London for Crossrail. No real details on the thousands of hours of design concepts or the science behind it, for entertainment purposes they had to focus on the excellent and very competent delivery team. They wore the engineers 'uniform' of hi-viz PPE and hard hats, well known by the viewers who interface with them on a daily basis via roadworks etc. They also tended to be an upbeat bunch of cheeky chappies with great humour and manual skill. Who couldn't fail to like them?

Bottom line, viewing public don't interface on a regular basis with professional designers, scientists and engineers. Unlike doctors, lawyers etc who in general terms are respected for what they do, even if it isn't understood how they do it.

Towards the end of my working life, I was asked by a corporate client not to give out my business card to his team as it had my qualifications on it and it might make some of his team feel like underachievers.I'm sure they don't ask their lawyers, accountants or health care professionals to do the same. I knew then it was time to retire.

bafanguy
31st Oct 2018, 14:29
My daughter-in-law is a pediatric ER doc. She says she mostly learned in med school. They also practiced on pigs' ears and some type of plastic device that simulated skin.

When she now works with residents coming through her department, she tries to get them as much experience at that (under her direct supervision) as the parents will allow. Sometimes they agree...sometimes not.

Kinda like IOE after simulator ! :cool:
.

Harley Quinn
31st Oct 2018, 20:20
Part of the issue I think is that in the UK anyone with a screwdriver or an adjustable spanner can call themselves an 'engineer'. In those countries renowned for their modern engineering prowess, in Germany for example, the title of Engineer has a protected status.

funfly
31st Oct 2018, 21:01
A year ago I couldnt spell secretary, now I are one.
same with engineers, a spanner doesnt make an engineer the same as a youngster who can play games on a pooter is always called by his/her mum “a computer wizard”.

Mac the Knife
31st Oct 2018, 21:17
A very few seem to be born with a feeling for tissue manipulation.
Some never really learn, not many go on to be surgeons.
Most of the rest of us start with varying degrees of ability, but learn as we progress.
There was a lot of good in the old apprenticeship system, now abandoned.
Pig's ears and plastic models conveniently do not bleed.
It's also a pity that medical students are not taught anatomy the way we were.

It is a wonderful craft to teach, especially if you love teaching as I do.

Mac ("...let me show you a little trick here.." the Knife

bafanguy
31st Oct 2018, 22:42
A very few seem to be born with a feeling for tissue manipulation.

Most of the rest of us start with varying degrees of ability, but learn as we progress.

It's also a pity that medical students are not taught anatomy the way we were.


Mac,

How is gross anatomy in med school taught differently now than when you went through ?

As far as I know, there are cadavers and the students spend considerable time taking them apart.

Even our physical therapy students get a gross anatomy course along side of the med school students.

Blues&twos
31st Oct 2018, 22:54
My daughter is a vet. The last three years of the course were heavily practical, and before she started doing anything surgical she asked us to buy her a suture training kit so she had a bit of a feel for what would be required before doing it on something living. It was a sort of pink silicone pad which could be incised and then sutured multiple times. She found it very useful. I don't know if med students use that sort of thing - I'd be surprised if they didn't.

tartare
31st Oct 2018, 22:59
When I first heard this on the radio in the car I laughed my head off.
This story has to be the biggest load of bollocks I've read over the last few weeks.
Just because the guy's a Professor of Surgery - his claim's been slaveringly lapped up by journalists who are not thinking critically.
Television will lead to the downfall of civilisation.
Video games are turning kids into zombies.
And now smartphones are crippling medical students.
If there was even a scintilla of evidence for this - every other occupation that demands fine motor skills would be complaining too.
The jewelers would be up in arms.
The embroiderers of Suzhou would be lamenting the fact that Chinese kids are too cack handed from typing on their Huaweis to create intricate textiles.
The carpet weavers of Jaipur would have no apprentices.
And down at me local music shop, the Fenders, Gibsons, Ibanezs and Matons would be gathering dust because kid's fingers wouldn't be nimble enough to even play a shite version of Stairway to Heaven.
Yet they're not.
For f*cks sake people...
Rant over :)

obgraham
31st Oct 2018, 23:23
Unfortunately, Tartare, MAC's and the Surgery Prof's views are correct. It is amazing to me that doctors are being turned loose onto the patients with such poor technical skills. I saw this some years back when we hired a new associate -- she really had to struggle to tie a secure knot, and she had little understanding of the concept of "tissue planes". Surgery times and blood loss were greatly increased.

Now, there is room for some debate and change: Robotics. I'm told that surgical residents now, having wasted much of their life on video games, have an innate skill at working the robotic surgery equipment, like the DaVinci, which is being applied to more and more surgical procedures. Much of that work involves different surgical techniques, and often without actual sutures involved. But sooner or later, you have to fall back and apply the human mind and human techniques when the robot doesn't quite do what you thought it would. That requires the old-fashioned understanding of the basic anatomical structure.

Haven't you pilot types gone through this also? Flight Management Systems and Fly-by-wire versus stick and rudder. Similar issues.

obgraham
31st Oct 2018, 23:26
Bafanguy:
I won't speak for how they do things in SA, but I have a daughter not long out of med school. Much of her gross anatomy teaching involved prepared dissections. Nowhere near as much time in the tank as we did.

ChocksAwayChaps
31st Oct 2018, 23:45
I am shocked that so few young people, girls in particular, have no idea how to use a sewing machine and even fewer actually own one. I learnt to sew on my gran's ancient treadle Singer machine and I have alway owned my own machine. You have to if you are a short a**e and like wearing jeans.

tartare
1st Nov 2018, 01:47
Unfortunately, Tartare, MAC's and the Surgery Prof's views are correct. It is amazing to me that doctors are being turned loose onto the patients with such poor technical skills. I saw this some years back when we hired a new associate -- she really had to struggle to tie a secure knot, and she had little understanding of the concept of "tissue planes". Surgery times and blood loss were greatly increased.

Now, there is room for some debate and change: Robotics. I'm told that surgical residents now, having wasted much of their life on video games, have an innate skill at working the robotic surgery equipment, like the DaVinci, which is being applied to more and more surgical procedures. Much of that work involves different surgical techniques, and often without actual sutures involved. But sooner or later, you have to fall back and apply the human mind and human techniques when the robot doesn't quite do what you thought it would. That requires the old-fashioned understanding of the basic anatomical structure.

Haven't you pilot types gone through this also? Flight Management Systems and Fly-by-wire versus stick and rudder. Similar issues.

With no disrespect intended (and I'm typing this on a keyboard at a large medical College) I remain skeptical.
I'll believe there has been a gross deterioration in fine motor skills among smartphone and electronic device users when I see the multinational peer reviewed meta-studies.
There have been all sorts of other claims about their health effects - damage to vision etc.
Jury's still out.

EDIT: see study below - no effect: in very small children:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01942638.2016.1255290?src=recsys&journalCode=ipop20

and - may actually boost motor skills:
https://blog.frontiersin.org/2016/09/13/touchscreens-may-boost-motor-skills-in-toddlers/