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Surgical Foundations

Introduction to Surgical Foundations

Updated April 2020*

COVID-19 Impact on Surgical Foundations:

McMaster University is monitoring the current crisis closely, providing updates to all faculty and members of the community. As of April 8th, 2020, it is uncertain if large group gatherings will be permitted in July 2020. Please note that SF is prepared to provide Boot Camp lectures virtually and will communicate all updates as they become available. Additional information can be found here.

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Surgical Foundations (SF) is the educational program that encompasses the first two years of post-graduate training (PGY1 and PGY2). Residents from the following programs take part in Surgical Foundations:

*Ophthalmology PGY1s participate in the research curriculum (SRM) of Surgical Foundations.

McMaster University residents start Surgical Foundations in July of their first-year of residency; attending a 2-week intensive boot-camp. Following boot camp, residents work to complete a series of competence-based Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA’s) and milestones. Think of EPA’s as a checklist of tasks each resident must complete effectively and efficiently, and milestones as specific variables within each task that must be achieved. EPA’s and milestones are provided by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and are used by McMaster Universities Surgical Foundations Director (Dr. Nalin Amin) and Program Coordinator (Naomi Downer) to develop the Surgical Foundations curriculum each year.

Each week, Surgical Foundation Residents gather for Academic Half Days (AHD), taking place Wednesday’s from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (with some exceptions). Academic Half Days vary in style (lecture, hands on, etc.) and take place in numerous environments, lending to the enhancement of knowledge and practical skills. AHD’s are considered protected teaching time and residents are to turn their pagers off during these sessions.​

The following are examples of Academic Half Day’s attended by SF residents:

  1. Lectures (faculty, upper-year residents, external)
  2. Simulation (Centre for Simulation-Based Learning)
  3. Anatomy (MUMC)
  4. Technical Skills (Centre for Simulation-Based Learning and MUMC Anatomy) 

During PGY2, SF residents are divided in to groups to present to PGY1’s on one of the following topics:

  1. Suture Materials
  2. Principals of Oncology
  3. Pre-Operative Optimization and Risk Assessment
  4. Wound Healing

For information on lecture topics for the 2020-2021 Academic Year, click here

Exam: The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada will hold the Surgical Foundations exam on September 23rd, 2020. Click here for details.

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