An MRCS Study Day in Malaysia

An MRCS Study Day in Malaysia

The College recently held an MRCS Part B Surgical Anatomy Revision Day pilot in Malaysia. Part of the Wade Programme, the course was also the first hands-on anatomy course we have delivered internationally. Dr Ross Jones, Professor of Anatomy for RCSEd, provides an inspiring overview of the day, and looks to the future of the Wade Programme for the College's international membership.

The Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy was established by the College in 2012 with the aim of supporting the study of surgical anatomy throughout training, from undergraduate medicine to consultant practice. The recent “MRCS Anatomy Study Day – Malaysia” is the very first iteration of the highly successful “Wade Day” series to be delivered internationally as a face-to-face course, following an online pilot during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course was held at the College’s international base in Kuala Lumpur, in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

The team: Professor Ross Jones (centre), Emeritus Professor Gordon Findlater, FRCSEd (5th from right) and Shidah Abd Lah, International Office Manager (right) were assisted by members of the academic and technical staff from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

The course aimed to provide a whole-body review of surgical anatomy for the MRCS examination, using cadaveric material in a small group setting (6 delegates). Overview talks for each body region (head & neck, trunk and limbs) utilized the “Wade Educational Approach” to emphasize the importance of three-dimensional visualization, key concepts and the active application of anatomical knowledge to all aspects of surgical practice. Interactive, hands-on practical sessions using cadaveric material then enabled trainees to review the important surgical anatomy underpinning physical diagnosis and safe surgery, with an emphasis on tissue planes, structural relationships and spatial awareness.

As part of the College’s international strategy, we are very keen to develop the Wade Programme for our overseas membership. The recent study day now provides a template for future course delivery, both at our base in Malaysia and in other regional markets, including China and India. In the short term, our plan is to deliver similar educational activities coupled to the MRCS examination overseas, with a longer term goal of Wade Programme activities delivered independently by local faculty in each international centre.

Dr Rasyidah Rehir, one of the delegates on the course, had the following to say about the study day:

The WADE Anatomy Study Day is a go-to course for MRCS candidates or prospective candidates around Asia or South East Asian countries. This one-day revision program was held for the very first time physically in Malaysia where the RCSEd international office is. It’s amazing that plenty prosected cadaveric materials for all regions were used in the course and I personally appreciate that the course were designed as such, as I find it's more helpful to appreciate anatomical structure as opposed to just looking at pictures. Also, I find that it is more beneficial for those who joined the course to have a sound theoretical knowledge on anatomy as it was interactive but in a fun way.  

It begun with a brief lecture at the beginning and a few more in-between, nevertheless, the bulk of the revision day was spent entirely looking at prosected specimens, identifying and appreciating vital anatomical structures facilitated by two experienced anatomy professors from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd). They were very knowledgeable and generous, with advice and tips on preparing for the MRCS exam and essentially, tips to learn anatomy effectively, as a huge portion of the MRCS exam now is mainly on anatomy.  

 It was a supportive environment where as a participant, I got a valuable opportunity to gauge myself on how much I know, ask questions, and simply clear my doubts. The teachers were more than happy to share their valuable experience, and they are also the MRCS examiners themselves which explains why they are the best teachers for this course. The only setback I found in this course is that there’s so much to learn but too little time. I wish this course could be spread out a little longer, maybe for 1.5 to 2 days so it doesn’t feel so rushed and we have more time to digest all the information.

I’d like to extend my congratulations and my utmost gratitude to the organisers for a fantastic job in organising this course, and of course to my two teachers, Professor Findlater and Professor Jones. I would definitely recommend those who are going for their MRCS exams to invest and join this course. Worth it!

Dr Ross Jones originally trained in General Surgery in the North West Deanery (Manchester; 2007-2017) before taking up an academic position in Clinical & Surgical Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. Since 2012, Ross has worked with the College as the academic lead for the Wade Programme in Surgical Anatomy,and was appointed Professor of Anatomy in 2022.

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