The University of East Anglia is to launch a new e-learning masters degree in breast reconstruction surgery. The Master in Surgery in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery is the first in the UK to formally qualify surgeons in this vital field.
Oncoplastic breast surgery
combines the surgical removal of breast cancer with reconstruction of the breast, and is an extremely important part of the of the patient’s recovery and psychological wellbeing.
The course is based on an innovative mix of e-learning and local mentoring and assessment. It has been developed by Prof Sam Leinster, professor of Medical Education at UEA and one of the team which pioneered oncoplastic breast surgery in the 1970s, with Prof Jerome Periera, a consultant breast surgeon at James Paget University Hospitals (JPH) and an honorary professor at UEA.
The new course has been developed with the full support of the Royal College of Surgeons (England), the Association of Breast Surgery and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).
The first two-year course starts later this month and will be attended by fifteen surgeons from across the country.
Prof Leinster said: “This is a very exciting and innovative course. It’s delivery through a mix of e-learning and local mentoring means that we retain capability and capacity in front-line services whilst training, assessing and qualifying the new generation of surgeons in this field to the very highest standard. It means that surgeons will be able to train without compromising working-time directives.”
The course will use the expertise of surgeons at the JPH and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals along with a network of specialists across the country.
Prof Periera said the initiative meant that UEA was leading the world in innovation. “At the moment the training of surgeons can be an adhoc experience. Using this method, surgeons will have to cover the full range of operations. It means that in the final three years leading up to them becoming consultants, they will be receiving the highest quality of training in this field anywhere in the world.”
Professors Leinster and Periera are exploring other areas of surgery using a similar model of e-learning and mentoring.
The course will be provided by the UEA's Norwich Medical School, which was renamed last month from the School of Medicine Health Policy and Practice.