College of Surgeons recommends improving the dissemination of knowledge about new technologies

Published date : 15 June 2011
Article date : 15 June 2011

The Royal College of Surgeons of England published a report today examining barriers to innovation in surgery and highlighted the fact that surgical studies receive only a small proportion (1.5%) of the total medical research budget. The report makes 15 recommendations including more centralised support for surgical studies, the incorporation of research modules into surgical training, and the establishment of networks of surgical researchers. The one we liked best however, was that the Department of Health and the surgical profession should explore how the best information on new technologies might be disseminated to all relevant surgeons, because that is in keeping with the aims of Which Medical Device. However, there is no doubt that the fundamental differences between surgery and other specialties mean that it is unlikely that surgical studies will ever overtake medical ones (eg new drug trials) in number. The surgical craft requires long training, is highly operator dependent (ie often depends on many individualised decisions and skills which are difficult to allow for in clinical trials) and the time demands of surgical practice make it difficult to combine with a formal academic interest.

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