Minor Surgery

Minor Surgery training

Minor surgery includes procedures that don't invade a body cavity including the abdomen, thorax or cranium.

These in-office procedures include wound care, abscess incision and drainage, suturing and other forms of wound closure, punch and elliptical biopsies, tissue removal such as warts, moles, benign and pre-malignant lesions, and removal of foreign objects (e.g., fish hook). Most require sterile or aseptic technique and injection of local anesthesia.

At SCNM, you’ll acquire minor surgery competencies during your clinical education. In addition to minor surgery, you’ll study, practice and become competent in a range of clinical competencies, beginning in your first year. This is particularly important since research on medical education shows a strong correlation between clinical competencies and future satisfaction in practice.

As your skill set grows, so will your confidence. For example, to competently perform a physical examination, one must first master dozens of site-specific exams. The head and neck alone, comprises examination of the ear, the external and internal eye (including the retina), mouth and throat, nose, skin and scalp, lymph nodes, nervous system, thyroid, and cervical spine. Venipuncture (drawing blood) or giving an immunization are fairly simple procedures; followed by the more complex administration of IV fluids and medications. Looking in an adult’s ear is easy compared to examining a febrile child screaming from a suspected middle ear infection. Spinal manipulation requires a sequence of courses beginning with anatomy and neuroanatomy, followed by courses in palpation, physical examination of the spine and finally soft-tissue then osseous manipulation. Minor surgery, first learned in class, then simulated in labs, then practiced in the clinical setting, challenges students’ knowledge, dexterity and composure.

Whereas didactic learning is linear, each acquisition of skills reflects a quantum jump in ability and confidence. At SCNM, both types of learning complement each other.