Next-Gen Surgeons Can Barely Use a Pair of Scissors

By Gary Cutlack on at

A man who's in charge of educating the next generation of surgeons is bemoaning the skills of his current collection of trainees, warning that the kids are so used to pawing at images of funny dogs on screens that they don't have the manual dexterity required to properly operate the knives and needles of fine surgery.

That's according to Roger Kneebone from Imperial College London, who is routinely dismayed by the practical skills of the kids, who, he thinks, haven't spent enough time being bored and playing with scissors, so they lack general craft and fine motor skills when they turn up expecting to be made into brain surgeons in a fortnight.

He explained: "It is a concern of mine and my scientific colleagues that whereas in the past you could make the assumption that students would leave school able to do certain practical things – cutting things out, making things – that is no longer the case." Although on the plus side they know how to look up things like "brain tumour removal" on YouTube so can probably manage it without training at all.

Professor Kneebone, which apparently really is his name, added that he'd like to see more practical skills learned in schools, as it's not like the kids of today are spending their evenings darning socks and weaving baskets with grandma, leading to the fading of what he calls "tactile general knowledge" gleaned from working and playing with our hands instead of using them solely as screen docks. [BBC]