Challenges training left-handed surgeons.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Being left-handed (LH) is considered a disadvantage in surgical training. We sought to understand the perspectives of LH trainees and surgical educators on the challenges and modifications in training LH surgeons.


A survey was distributed to surgeons, surgical residents, and medical students about challenges teaching and learning surgical technique.


25 LH surgeons, 65 right-handed (RH) surgeons, and 39 LH trainees completed the survey. Compared to LH surgeons, RH surgeons reported more difficulty (46% vs 16%, p = 0.003) and less comfort teaching LH trainees (28% vs 4%, p = 0.002), and 10 (15%) reported that LH trainees have less technical ability. RH surgeons identified challenges translating technique to LH trainees and physical limitations of an environment optimized for right-handed mechanics.


The disadvantage LH surgical trainees face is due to barriers in training rather than inherent lesser ability. Nonetheless, minimal modifications are made to overcome these barriers.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Anderson, M; Carballo, E; Hughes, D; Behrer, C; Reddy, RM

Published Date

  • September 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 214 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 554 - 557

PubMed ID

  • 28108068

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1883

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9610

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2016.12.011


  • eng