Background: Prevocational doctors aspiring to surgical careers are commonly recruited as anatomy demonstrators for undergraduate and graduate medical programmes. Entry into Surgical Education and Training (SET) is highly competitive and a unique opportunity exists to align anatomy demonstrator programmes with the selection criteria and core competencies of SET programmes. This study used a qualitative approach to (i) determine what criteria applicants for SET are assessed on and (ii) identify criteria that could be aligned with and enhanced by an anatomy demonstrator programme. Methods: The selection guidelines of all nine surgical specialties for the 2017 intake of SET trainees were analysed using qualitative content analysis methodology. Results: The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons adopted a holistic approach to trainee selection that assessed both discipline-specific and discipline-independent skills. Qualitative content analysis identified eight categories of key selection criteria: medical expertise, scholarly activity, professional identity, interpersonal skills, integrity, self-management, insight and self-awareness and community involvement. The structured curriculum vitae was heavily weighted towards discipline-specific skills, such as medical expertise and scholarly activity. Insufficient information was available to determine the weighting of selection criteria assessed by the structured referee reports or interviews. Conclusion: Anatomy demonstrator programmes provide prevocational doctors with unique opportunities to develop surgical skills and competencies in a non-clinical setting. Constructively aligned anatomy demonstrator programmes may be particularly beneficial for prevocational doctors seeking to improve their anatomical knowledge, teaching skills or scholarly activity.
- Anatomy demonstrator
- Anatomy education
- Medical education
- Qualitative content analysis
- Surgical Education and Training