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New era of surgery promises safer and tailored treatments but will require new methods of learning, says report

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k5214 (Published 07 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5214
  1. Greta McLachlan
  1. The BMJ

Surgery is about to undergo a massive transformation, an independent review has predicted, because a wave of new technologies and better understanding of human biology will change the way all types of surgery are provided and how surgeons are trained.

These innovations will mean safer, less invasive, and more personalised treatment for patients, as well as more predictable outcomes and faster recovery, said the Future of Surgery report,1 from a commission established by the Royal College of Surgeons.

Surgical training must adapt for the future to allow surgeons to evaluate and embrace change, the report said, including distant and virtual learning.

The role of some surgeons is likely to become increasingly wide ranging and collaborative. Surgeons will need to understand the language of genetics, surgery, radiotherapy, and bioengineering, said the report, and in the future they may be the first healthcare professionals to discuss genetic analysis with patients.

The commission comprises some of the …

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