Cutting Edge is the surgical society at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. It is a student led organization that focuses on providing an early, enriched exposure to surgery. A small board / committee organizes and invites student members to three types of events:
- Skills workshops
- Conference events
My roles in Cutting Edge
Skills workshop instructor
I was a member of the surgical society for all 4 years of medical school and a 3 year committee member. Each committee member serves as an instructor for skills workshops. The fundamental model is peer-based learning. Residents or senior medical students teach junior committee members. All committee members teach the members of the surgical society in skills workshops. For more complex skills such as tracheostomy or bowel anastamosis, faculty from KMC, Manipal may lead or standby during skills workshops.
CE members advance through 4 units of skills, each containing 4 workshops. The early units have approximately 80-100 registrations per workshop, whereas the higher level ones have approximately 30. We also occasionally have limited-registration, cadaveric based workshops to learn skills like bowel anastamosis.
Perhaps one of the things Cutting Edge committee members take the most pride in is our in-house simulation models. While we have access to two simulation centers in our university, certain skills (e.g. suturing) are best taught when each student has their own practice materials. Many of these commercial solutions cost tens of US dollars, which is beyond a reasonable budget of an Indian medical student. Therefore, we develop a number of practice models ourselves, led by our Education and Skills Representatives. The purpose of our model are to understand and develop basic technique. It allows medical students to have a stronger baseline while observing the procedure done on real patients and subsequently performing procedures themselves.
As the “gen sec”, my primary responsibilities involve setting the agenda and coordinating resources with the medical college / university. I work closely with the President and Education and Skills Representatives in planning the calendar of events. It is created coordinating with the KMC Student Council to avoid major campus events and the college office’s academic calendar. This involves coordination with the college administration and campus facilities coordinators for resources including lecture halls, skills labs, dissection halls, etc. During committee meetings, the general secretary monitors progress through the agenda and keeps minutes.
As webmaster, it was my responsibility to maintain our website at www.cuttingedgemanipal.edu. For each event, a registration page is created our members. The registration list would be used to assign members to skills workshop instructors and also serve as at attendance roster for lecture events. I would work with the Education and Skills Representatives, scaling the workshops based on evolving registration numbers. I also work closely with the Public Relations representative in uploading photos / videos from our events to the website and social media. Finally, I created digital and print promotional materials for our events.
In my first month as webmaster, I created an deployed a QR code based attendance system, which drastically improved member sign-in efficiency. Each member was provided a QR code tied to their membership number. For existing members, a sticker with the QR code was applied to the back of their Cutting Edge membership card. New members were programmed to have QR codes printed directly onto their cards.
Note that the date of publication on this post was backdated to reflect the original time of the article’s event.