Teaching subcuticular suturing to medical students: Video versus expert instructor feedback

Stuart H. Shippey, Tiffany L. Chen, Betty Chou, Leise R. Knoepp, Craig W. Bowen, Victoria L. Handa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: Given limitations in surgical educational resources, more efficient teaching methods are needed. We sought to evaluate 3 strategies for improving skills in subcuticular suturingpractice with an instructional video, practice with expert instructor supervision, and independent practice. Design: Fifty-eight medical students volunteered for this research. Students viewed a video on subcuticular suturing then completed a pretest requiring closure of an incision in a plastic model. Students were randomized among 3 groups: practice with an instructional video (group A), practice with supervision by an expert instructor (group B), and independent practice (group C). After instruction, students completed a posttest, then a retention test 1 week later. Their performances were video recorded and evaluated using a validated scoring instrument composed of global and task-specific subscales. Results: Performances measured using both subscales improved significantly from pretest to post-test only for group B. However, when comparing student performances between pretest and retention posttest, significant improvements on both subscales were seen only in group A. Conclusion: These results suggest that practice with an instructional video is an effective method for acquiring skill in subcuticular suturing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-402
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • anatomic models
  • instructional films and videos
  • medical students
  • motor skills
  • sutures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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