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Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy

The Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy aims to support the study of surgical anatomy during surgical training and into continuing professional development. The programme has been established with generous support from the Pilmuir Trust.

The Wade Programme Educational Approach

The educational approach taken by the programme is based on a concept of the study of surgical anatomy as being an active blending of anatomical knowledge and of its applications in surgical practice, aimed at benefiting patients. Trainees are encouraged to develop a robust, three-dimensional, internally visualised model of the anatomy of the body, rather than merely memorising verbal descriptions. With the rapid rate of developments in imaging and new surgical techniques  it would seem that this skill of internal visualisation will be increasingly required by trainees throughout their professional lives.

The programme, particularly in conjunction with preparation for the MRCS examination, encourages the early acquisition of an internal  three-dimensional model of the whole body (including surgically relevant microscopic anatomy and development) regardless of the particular specialty training a trainee is planning to undertake. In support of this approach trainees are reminded, for example, that trauma and neoplasm are no respecters of descriptive boundaries between body regions, and that operative work will regularly require practical knowledge of  interspecialty anatomical borderzones.

The programme also encourages an active application of anatomy to as wide a range of aspects of surgical practice as possible, including surgical pathology, clinical presentation, imaging  & other investigations, operative surgery and patient safety issues, in particular in relation to avoiding damage to underlying structures.

Throughout the programme, trainees are also encouraged to actively identify key concepts  and informative key diagrams, which will aid learning through understanding, rather than by memorization.

It is considered that such a spatial approach, based on ‘how thing are put together’, readily facilitates the understanding, not only of anatomy and its surgical  applications, but also helps with the speedy acquisition of the robust, three-dimensional internal images, which are so necessary for safe surgical practice

The Programme is structured as follows:


Surgical Anatomy Workshops (Wade Programme)

This workshop is ideal for senior medical students who are interested in a career in surgery. It is designed to increase awareness of the important links between anatomy and surgical practice. The evening begins with a talk entitled Surgery and Anatomy – Partners in Time and Space, followed by three practical sessions on the surgical anatomy of the head and neck, trunk and limbs. Delegates are split into groups and rotate around the three half-hour sessions. The faculty use a case-based approach, demonstrating the importance of knowledge of surgical anatomy to all aspects of surgical practice, particularly in relation to ensuring patient safety. Students have the opportunity to ask questions during these interactive sessions. 

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