Medical life: where surgeons are judged on paper cuts

If you think it’s tough to qualify as a radiologist, then pity prospective surgeons trying to get a job at Kurashiki Central Hospital in West Japan.

The hospital has adopted a “disruptive recruitment process” to check whether job applicants have the dexterity and hand-eye coordination to excel at surgery: they are asked to fold tiny origami cranes, put together mini insect models and make sushi with a single ran of rice.

The tasks are all carried out against the clock to add to the pressure facing applicants. Whether origami and sushi making skills have ever been correlated with surgical intervention success rates in an independent, peer-reviewed study is not clear.

Furthermore, the fact that Kurashiki Central developed its novel recruitment techniques in association with TBWA/Hakuhodo Japan, an advertising agency, suggests that the initiative may have been more  about attracting media attention than pulling in first class students.

Nevertheless, it is clearly an eye-catching stunt…and so maybe the kind of thing that other medical disciplines that are facing skills shortages, such as radiology, should take note of.


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