Screen time could affect surgery students’ dexterity
Concerns have been raised about a decline in the hands-on skills of young people
Surgery professor Roger Kneebone from Imperial College London has described how new students seem to struggle with practical tasks such as threading a needle and sewing – crucial skills for surgeons. The worrying decline in manual dexterity may be related to our increased dependence on touchscreen technology rather than learning how to use our hands through basic craft skills.
“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,” explained Professor Kneebone. “A lot of things are reduced to swiping on a twodimensional flat screen… We have students who have very high exam grades but lack tactile general knowledge.”
Professor Kneebone and others are calling for more well-rounded school curricula that supports creative subjects where these vital skills can be developed