Background. Teaching residents the design and creation of skin flaps is challenging because the use of skin flaps is not common enough during the course of a typical residency to provide a broad experience base. Methods. A 12 x 12-inch board with a 1/8-inch foam rubber covering was designed to provide for the creation of four flaps and one Z-plasty. A lecture and practical exercise were used to teach basic techniques. Performance was measured by preexamination and postexamination, as well as by a resident satisfaction survey. Results. Mean scores improved by 45%. The resident survey revealed an average subjective rating was 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5. All residents rated this format superior to traditional lecture instruction. Total cost to provide laboratory experience for 16 residents was $50. Materials can be recovered and reused at a cost of $0.40 each. Conclusions. The materials developed provided an effective, inexpensive nonbiologic model for teaching preoperative skills.
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