Plastic surgery in the undergraduate curriculum: The importance of considering students' perceptions

Andrew Burd, Tor Chiu, Carmel McNaught

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


As the undergraduate medical curriculum becomes increasingly crowded the competition for time inevitably increases and surgical specialties have decreasing representation. Plastic surgery is regarded with some confusion in terms of its relevance to the generic doctor. Plastic surgeons have no doubt about the relevance of the specialty to undergraduates. Others see this as a very technical specialty dealing with complex reconstructions and surgical interventions or, as a rather indulent specialty focusing mainly on glamour and cosmesis. This study focuses on students' perceptions of an undergraduate teaching program in plastic surgery. The reality is that highly pressured undergraduates do not have the luxury of time to consider the finer details of the specialties to which they are exposed. Their priority is to pass their examinations and, having addressed that concern, further information becomes an acceptable bonus. The conclusion is that if plastic surgeons are going to gain greater involvement in the undergraduate curriculum they must start with involvement in examinations and assessments. The students will then ensure that adequate and appropriate teaching time is allocated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-779
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Evaluation
  • Undergraduate teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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