Should Live Operative workshops be banned?

Live Operating workshops as a mode for training of surgeons has recently been in for a lot of criticism and debate as to whether they should be banned or not. The main reason cited has been rare deaths occurring after surgery being performed in a live workshop for demonstration and training

These raises several issues related to patient safety,Guest Posting patient rights, surgeons training, industry involvement and surgical grandiose. The protagonists of live operative workshops claim that it is one of the important modes of surgical training for surgeons who wish to learn new procedures or new technologies from the masters of the field.

In our country, there are few options for training in newer technologies such as laparoscopy as animal right activists have almost banned training on live animals under anaesthesia, which is fairly justified. Other forms of training include didactic lectures, video training, practice on models or simulators.

There is no doubt that live surgical workshops ignite the most enthusiasm amongst the surgeons and are attended the most out of all forms of training. Still, this does not justify the conduct of live operative workshops in its present form.

Live operative workshops also provide surgeons an opportunity to see how some of the complications can be managed by experts during a live surgery, which generally are never shown on video training modules. The antagonists of live operative workshops are equally vehement and believe it is unfair for patients to undergo surgery as a demonstration case.

It is true that surgeons operate in an unfamiliar environment with an unfamiliar team, which can produce a less than optimal outcome especially in a difficult and a complicated case. This is especially true for a foreign surgeon operating in India.

They believe that most live workshops are more of advertising and marketing gimmicks for private hospitals. Though this is not completely true, the motive behind many a workshops is for projection of private hospitals or even departments and individuals.

Most of the patients seeking treatment in live operative workshops are poor patients, who otherwise would not afford a regular treatment. Most of these patients are neither aware of their rights, nor would be capable of raising their voice in times of disaster. This raises several ethical questions in the conduct of these workshops.

The current technology of high speed broadband can actually allow live surgeries to be transmitted from the expert surgeon’s centres anywhere in the world, which would take away the many disadvantages of live operative workshops such as patient factors and unfamiliarity of the environment.

This would actually be an excellent way of demonstrating live operative procedures and in the future would be one of the best ways to proceed for live surgical workshops. The only challenge is to manage time zones and plan the slots accordingly.

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