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University of East Anglia pioneers advanced training programme in bowel surgery

Wed, 23 Jan 2013

The University of East Anglia is launching a pioneering new course designed to meet the complex training needs of colorectal surgeons.

The Masters degree in Coloproctology (MS) will deliver a broad-based training in coloproctology with an emphasis on patient safety and evidence-based care.

The e-learning format is based on a similar course in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, which was launched by the university in 2011.

The new course is supported by both the Royal College of Surgeons and the Association of Cancer Surgery (ACS ~ BASO), and will be launched by UEA's Norwich Medical School on January 28.

It comes after a survey revealed that trainees would welcome innovative teaching methods to augment current national training programmes.

Programme director Prof Jerome Pereira, from UEA and the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, is one of the surgeons behind the new course. He said: "Time is one of the biggest obstacles surgeons face in developing their skills and competencies in training for a successful career in coloproctology.

"The flexibility of our distance learning approach and the evidence based curriculum has proved to be a success as with our other UEA Specialist Mastership Programmes, which are now being extended to Europe and India."

Course leader Mr Chris Speakman, a consultant colorectal surgeon at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, said: "Eighty per cent of the course is taught through e-learning, including live weekly simulated tests involving complex cases. Perhaps most importantly, the students will gain valuable practical and operative experience through working a strong network of specialist surgeons and e-Tutors".

Course leader Mr Andrew Miles, a consultant colorectal surgeon at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The European Working Hours Directive means surgeons only do 7,000 hours of training before they become a consultant, less time than is needed to train as a professional musician or a top athlete.

"This course will help overcome the lack of experiential learning by providing web-based training in coloproctology and skills training in colorectal surgery in order to produce the country's most qualified colorectal surgeons."

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