Innovative educational programs for medical students and young orthopedic residents
15 April 2016

The NGO Regeneration & Progress successfully designed 3 innovative educational programs in the field of medicine, with the support of the SNF.

The 1st Surgical Anatomy seminar for orthopedic residents on total hip replacement, was held on April 8th and 9th, in collaboration with the 1st Orthopaedic Department of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens. The seminar included lectures by leading hip surgeons, as well as surgeries in anatomical pelvis and hip models, with the participation of 18 young Orthopedic Surgeons and 20 trainers. This is the first time that the seminar is being held in Greece and it is similar to the program that is held annually in the Hospital for Special Surgery-Cornell University in New York. 

Furthermore, on April 10th, the 1st and the 4th Orthopaedic Departments of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, in collaboration with the NGO Regeneration & Progress, designed and implemented the 1st Surgical Anatomy Seminar on Wound Management, for medical students who are in their 5th and 6th year of study. Theoretical and practical modules were held as part of the seminar, while the program involved 34 trainees and 15 instructors.

At the same time, the training of medical students in “Dealing with multiple-injured patients” continues its course. The seminar is approved and designed under international standards, while it is being performed for the first time internationally. The seminars take place on a monthly basis and, so far, more than 200 students have participated in the program. Kindly note that all positions for participants have been covered up to December 2016. The program is coordinated by the National Center of Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) in Patra with the 1st Orthopaedic Department of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Panagiotis Koulouvaris, Lecturer at the 1st Orthopaedic Dept., stated:

“I, personally, but also my entire working group—Mr. Vasiliou, Assistant Professor of General Surgery, Mr. Mavrogenis, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Mr. Boglou, CEO of NGO Regeneration & Progress—are particularly pleased, because we were able to organize a series of intensive Surgical Anatomy seminars for both residents and medical students, which contribute to the improvement of our doctors’ training. In the USA, this type of seminars are standard practice both for young and established surgeons, and they are an important tool in the educational program.”

“Another very promising thing is that the students have shown great interest in the seminars and their level is quite high. It is worth mentioning that, even though the program lasted an extra 2 hours, none of the students was in a hurry for it to end and, in their feedback, they expressed the desire for extra hours of training. Our aim is to offer the best possible education for students, to give them skills so as to be able to continue part of their training abroad, with the ultimate goal of returning and working in our country.”

Mr. Vasiliou, Assistant Professor of General Surgery and Director of ATLS for medical students, said:

“The certified ATLS seminar (Advanced Trauma Life Support), offers physicians the basic knowledge required to manage cases of heavily injured patients. This type of management requires a radically different approach than that of the typical medical algorithm: symptoms, history, tests, differential diagnosis, mainly because, in cases of seriously injured patients, there is no time for these steps to be followed. Therefore, the priority is to gain time and this is achieved through the oxygenation of the tissues, which is the determining factor, leading to the ‘end’ of the injured patient.”

This type of knowledge has not yet been incorporated in traditional medical education.

The ideal time for a doctor to get this knowledge, is right before he/she first deals with patients under his sole responsibility, i.e. before his/her GP service.
A prerequisite for the doctor is that he/she has all the theoretical and clinical education necessary, in order to be able to follow this different approach.

An ideal time which combines both aforementioned conditions is the last year of Medical School, under the condition that the graduate has successfully passed all modules from previous years.
The seminar has significant administrative costs (2 full days, 7 trainers for 16 trainees, models for practice, actors playing the roles of injured patients using realistic make up, educational material for 10 training stations, administrative staff, book), which, in a period of economic crisis, turns the payment of tuition into a real problem.

The SNF responded gladly to the request for supporting ATLS training via a scholarship for senior medical students who, despite being qualified and motivated, do not yet have the professional resources to cope with the cost of the training.

The parent organization, ACS (American College of Surgeons), accepted the request for the first-ever ATLS training seminar addressed to Medical Seniors, and the Greek section of the ACS approved the action.

Thanks to all the above, 200 students have already received the training, and the initial enthusiasm with which they are accepting this new approach, translates to pure joy once they find themselves dealing with their first injured patient, while serving their GP service around the country.

“We are grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and to all those who fought for this action, which satisfies a vital need. The surplus value of this contribution by the SNF, which is not yet evident, is that some of these doctors which expressed practical interest in the seminars will turn into future specialists in trauma, an area with dramatic shortages in our country.”