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Original Article

IJMDC. 2022; 6(4): 630-636

Hand surgery as subspecialty of plastic surgery among Saudi medical students: is it recognized well?

Tareq Alyahya, Faisal Ali Al Jabr, Abdulaziz Ahmed Albahrani, Ahmed Yousef Almulhim, Ali Salman Alzaid, Hassan Abdrabalreda Alqattan, Rayan Abdulwahab Buhalim.


Background: Plastic surgery has multiple sub-specialties, with hand surgeries being one of them. Medical students must recognize hand surgery as a subspecialty to understand the full scope of the discipline and improve their future referral patterns. This is the first study in Saudi Arabia to assess medical students’ perception of the role of plastic surgeons in hand surgeries.
Methods: TThe study is cross-sectional, with an online questionnaire distributed among medical students in a local medical institute. The data were collected between January and February 2021. The data were analyzed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 21.
Results: Three hundred and one student participated. There were 198 males and 103 females. Students most commonly chose plastic surgery to treat the burn of the hand scenario (67.8%), while the most commonly chose orthopedic surgery to treat a severed finger extensor tendon (71.1%), fracture scaphoid (89.4%), and rheumatoid arthritis deformity (63.8%). The most commonly chosen general surgery was to treat a severed finger. The most common sources of information were the teaching sessions, the internet, and personal experience.
Conclusion: Medical students were found to have insufficient perception that hand surgery is a plastic surgery specialty. Improving students’ perception is possible through problem based learning sessions led by doctors and increasing the number and length of plastic surgery clinical rotations.

Key words: Hand surgery, medical students, perception, knowledge, Saudi Arabia

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