Advertisement

15: The sinistral surgeon: How to teach the left-hand dominant gynecology trainee

      Objective

      The purpose of this Video Presentation is to demonstrate how to avoid the five most common difficulties of the left-handed trainee.

      Description

      Handedness is a faster or more precise performance or individual preference for use of a hand. Handedness is not a discrete variable (right or left), but a continuous one that can be expressed at levels between strong left and strong right. There are several types of handedness: left-handedness, right-handedness, and ambidexterity. Eleven percent of Americans (20% of men and 8% of women) are left-handed. Studies reflect similar percentages of lefthanders among medical personnel. Left-handedness has been considered a simple inconvenience by some, whereas some left-handed gynecologists feel that they are “the last unorganized minority.” There are a number of ways that a left-handed surgeon can overcome this right-handed bias. There are a number of ways that a left-handed surgeon can overcome this right-handed bias. We describe five techniques.

      Conclusion

      Left-handed individuals comprise a minority of gynecologic surgeons and trainees. Though many such individuals develop varying degrees of ambidexterity with experience, preferential use of their dominant hand is inevitable. Despite the hands-on nature of the gynecologist’s practice both in and out of the OR, tailored instruction for those with left-hand dominance is uncommon. Consequences, if any, of this missing training are unknown as left-handed gynecologists seem to adapt to environments biased to right-handed surgeons. Comparative studies are necessary to determine differences in performance, skill, and outcomes that may exist between left-handed gynecologists and their right-handed counterparts.