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Is drawing a valuable skill in surgical practice? 100 surgeons weigh in.

Authors
  • Kearns, Ciléin1, 2, 3
  • 1 a Honorary Clinical Fellow, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh , Teviot Place , Scotland.
  • 2 b Academic Foundation Doctor (FY2), NHS Lothian, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh , Edinburgh , Scotland.
  • 3 c Medical Illustrator, Artibiotics , Edinburgh , Scotland.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of visual communication in medicine
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Volume
42
Issue
1
Pages
4–14
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/17453054.2018.1558996
PMID: 30773071
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The author noted surgeons frequently drawing in routine practice. Literature review revealed no prior study of this activity. This research was conducted to examine the prevalence, purpose, and perceived value of this practice. Surgeons' experiences and opinions regarding drawing in surgical practice were canvassed via an online survey. One-hundred surgeons participated. 92% valued drawing routinely in practice. Utility was reported across domains of consent, communication, patient care, medico-legal, education, and planning operations. Free-text feedback is discussed, and learning points from this data were summarised. This paper establishes the collective professional opinion of 100 surgeons regarding the value of drawing, which plays a thriving role in current surgical practice. The utility of this skill transcends merely documenting visual information, allowing surgeons to quickly visualise simplified, dynamic representations of reality. This facilitates communication between professionals, and with their patients. The efficiency and availability of this medium allows drawing to maintain a distinct role in medical communication amongst other imaging modalities available. This paper is the first to document the prevalence of drawing amongst surgeons, substantiates an informed professional opinion supporting this practice, and demonstrates widespread enthusiasm for further training in these skills.

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