Cardiff MRCS Course: Basic Sciences and Clinical Application for MRCS A

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About the course

Basic sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, and microbiology, are the principal components for developing a strong foundation in surgical training and for the understanding of its clinically applied aspects, such as surgical anatomy and surgical pathology, critical care physiology and applied surgical sciences, and principles of surgery. As such, these subjects form an integral part of the MRCS A exam.

This intensive four-day course will provide the attendee with an overview of basic physiological principles, consolidate the attendee's core and applied surgical knowledge in anatomy and relevant pathology, and give a focused revision of pertinent topics as tested in the exam. The emphasis will be on key principles and concepts, with focus and guidance on answering single best answer questions. The course will take into consideration the recent changes to the MRCS A exam, with more emphasis on the clinical application of basic sciences, especially anatomy.

The course is divided into four distinct, but related, days. On Days 1 and 2, the emphasis will primarily be on basic and surgically applied anatomy and related pathology. This will include relevant embryology, surface anatomy and osteology in the head and neck, upper limb, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and lower limb. The autonomic nervous system and pertinent histological findings of all common cancers will also be discussed. Days 3 and 4 will predominately cover basic pathology, system-specific pathology, applied surgical sciences, burns, trauma, microbiology, pharmacology, genetics, statistics, trauma, vascular surgery, breast surgery, endocrine surgery, upper GI and lower GI surgery, and the principles of surgery in general.

It is strongly advised that delegates attend all four days of the course to obtain the full benefit. However, if a delegate is particularly strong in the topics taught on any of the four days, then he/she has the option of attending individual days of the course.

Topics covered

             Days 1 and 2: 

   Brachial Plexus, Arm, Shoulder, Scapula, Back, Axilla and Rotator Cuff (includes Upper Limb Nerve Injuries, Palsies, Shoulder Pathologies, and Approaches to the Shoulder)

 Cubital Fossa, Forearm, Flexor Retinaculum and Hand (includes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Ulnar and Median Nerve Palsies, and Hand Pathologies)

 Fractures in the Upper Limb

 Thoracic Wall; Mediastinum; Heart; Lungs; Oesophagus

 Embryology of the Heart

 Cardiac Pathologies and Congenital Heart Defects

 Dysphagia, Barrett’s Oesophagus and Benign Upper GI Conditions

 Cancers of the Oesophagus and their Management

 Cancers of the Lung and their Management

 Diaphragm, Transpyloric Plane, Anterior Abdominal Wall and Inguinal Region

 Peritoneum, Peritoneal Folds and Embryology of the GI Tract

 Gall Bladder, Pancreas, Liver and Ligaments of the Liver

 Essential Principles and Concepts in Upper GI Surgery

 Spleen, Splenic Injuries and Vaccines

 Hollow and Solid Organs of the Abdomen (includes Bowel Pathologies, Management Principles of Colon Cancers and Segmental Bowel Resections)

 Cancers of the Stomach and their Management

 Pelvis and Perineum

 Fascia of the Perineum and Deep Space Infections

 Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder and Urethra

 Management of Rectal and Anal Cancers

 Inguinal Swellings, Groin Swellings, Hernias and Scrotal Swellings

 Testicular Tumours and their Management

 Lumbar and Lumbosacral Plexus

 Femoral Triangle, Thigh, Popliteal Fossa; Lower Leg, Ankle and Foot (includes Lower Limb Nerve Injuries, Nerve Palsies, Compartment Syndrome and Ankle Injuries)

 Principles of Management of the Fracture Neck of the Femur

 Management of Fractures of the Lower Limb

 Management of Knee Injuries

 Head and Neck Embryology; Pharyngeal Arches

 Embryology of the Cleft Lip and Palate  

<li> Autonomous Nervous System, Splanchnic and Hypogastric Nerves

 Skull Base, Head, Scalp and Face; Surgical Pathologies of the Scalp, Head and Face 

 Facial Nerve Palsies, Acoustic Neuroma and Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome

 Salivary Gland Tumours and their Management

 Cancers of the Brain and their Management

 Anatomy of Strokes and Cerebrovascular Accidents

 Neck, Thyroid, Larynx, Pharynx and Tongue

 Neck Lumps and Surgical Pathologies of the Neck

 Cancers of the Larynx, Pharynx and Tongue and their Management

 Management of Common ENT Conditions

Days 3 and 4:

 Management of Trauma; ATLS Principles

 Major Haemorrhage Protocol and Massive Blood Transfusion

 Types of Shock and Classes of Hypovolemic Shock

 Management of Pelvic Fractures and Managing Urethral Injuries

 Spine, Spinal Cord, Lumbar Puncture and Epidural Anaesthesia

 Ascending and Descending Tracts of the Spine; Pain Pathways

 Back Pain, Sciatica, Cord Syndromes, Cauda Equina and Conus Medullaris

 Head Injuries, Neurophysiology and Management of Raised ICP

 Basic and General Pathology

 Tumour Markers

 Screening for Colorectal Cancers and Cancer Genetics

 Septic Arthritis, Gout, Pseudogout, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

 Principles in the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)

 Pre-Operative Assessment

 Common Anaesthetic Drugs and Peri-Operative Care

 Post-Operative Complications and Management

 Management of Fluids and Electrolytes in the Peri-Operative Period and in Trauma

 Management of Hypothermia

 Pharmacology of Key Anti-Platelets, Anti-Coagulants and Anti-Cancer Drugs

 Fundamentals of Wound Healing; Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery

 Principles of Local Anaesthetics; Tourniquets; Diathermy

 Essential Principles in Laparoscopic Surgery

 Sutures,  Suture Materials and Needles

 Management of Burns and Scalds

 Lumps and Benign Cutaneous Lesions

 Common Hand Conditions (including Dupuytren’s Disease)

 Venous Ulcers,  Arterial Ulcers, Diabetic Foot Ulcers, Pressure Ulcers, and their Management

 Vascular Anatomy of the Head, Neck and Thorax (includes Vascular Access and Chest Drain Insertion)

 Vascular Pathologies of the Neck and Thorax

 Peripheral Arterial Disease, Vascular Pathologies, and the Core Principles in Vascular Surgery

 Carotid Artery Disease and Carotid Endarterectomy

 AAA: Screening; Elective vs. Emergency; Open vs. EVAR; TEVAR; FEVAR; REBOA

 Screening for Breast Cancers and Cancer Genetics

 Management of Benign Pathologies of the Breast

 Management of Breast Cancers

 Management of Metastatic Secondaries in the Spine

 Thyroid Disorders, Thyroid Pathologies and Cancers

 Melanoma and its Management

 Management of Common Skin Conditions and Cutaneous Malignancies

 Cushing’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome: Screening Tests and Management

 Disorders of the Adrenal Cortex, Adrenal Medulla, Neuroblastoma and Pheochromocytoma

 Carcinoid Tumours and Carcinoid Syndrome

 Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Endocrine and Renal Physiology

 Applied Acid-Base Balance

 Calcium Metabolism and Hyperparathyroidism

 MEN Syndromes

 Essential Topics in Microbiology


 Necrotising Fasciitis

 Statistics and its Surgical Application

 Genetics and Inheritance Patterns

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