Role of international tele-education with live surgery for pre-clinical medical students

Taiki Moriyama, Ho-Seong Han, Kuriko Kudo, Yoshihiko Sadakari, Tomohiko Moriyama, Naoki Nakashima, Masafumi Nakamura, Shuji Shimizu


Background and Purpose: The number of surgeons in Japan
has declined more than 25% in the last 20 years, a critical
problem not only limited to this country. Another problem faced
in Japan is the limited English communication skills of Japanese
students. In an attempt to address these problems, international
tele-education involving live surgery for second-year medical
students was undertaken in Japan and Korea over a ten-year
period. In this study, we aimed to clarify the effect of the class
for pre-clinical medical students.
Methods: A 90-minute lecture was given, designed to
introduce students to telemedicine as well as devices and
instruments for laparoscopic surgery. The class required a
connection between Kyushu University Hospital in Japan and
Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in Korea. Annual
live surgeries were performed each year from 2008 to 2017. Each
class comprised a total of 62–90 students per year. After the
class, students were given questionnaires for evaluation
Results: A total of 96% of medical students had a favorable
impression of the class over the 10 years. More specifically,
94.6% of students were positive about image quality, and 73.5%
of them about sound quality. A total of 88.3% were positive
about the class being in English, and 96.1% thought this was
important for promoting international exchange and improving
their English skills. The percentage of students indicating
interest in general surgery was 86.6%, and 94.5% of them were
interested in laparoscopic surgery. Finally, three quarters of
students had a more favorable impression of surgery after the
tele-education class than before.
Conclusion: Our tele-education class is an effective approach
for encouraging medical students in the early years of training to
become interested in surgery and international exchanges.

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