Surgeons in the US and the UK have expressed concern about the newest generation of medical students lacking the necessary dexterity for surgery. Dexterity is a category of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the ability to control the tiny muscles of the hands and fingers. Dexterity is the ability to use these tiny muscles efficiently. Such as being able to button a button or tying shoe laces. In surgery, dexterity is key. The most obvious need for dexterity in surgery is sewing and stitching. The staple of surgery. Kids can develop the dexterity necessary for this by working with their hands. But much of a child’s time these days is spent swiping on a 2 dimensional screen. Surgeons who have been in the field for decades can see the difference in dexterity from new med students and ones from only 10 years ago. These dexterity skills are much easier to develop as a kid. Think about learning a language. Kids can learn two languages from the moment they begin speaking. However if you’ve learned a new language as an adult you know how difficult it is. It’s the same for developing your dexterity. If you develop it in childhood you’re set. If you wait until you’re in med school you may be too late.
How can your daughter develop her dexterity?
Dexterity building exercises are built into many toys for young children. This includes anything where they are using their hands to build, paint, or do puzzles. For older kids it’s important to keep them engaged in hands-on activities to continue building their dexterity. This can include crafts, building model rockets or cars, woodworking, etc. Schools are overall offering classes involving these activities less and they’re often made optional. Constant practice is key to developing good dexterity skills. Try implementing long-term projects that you can do on the weekends. Such as building something with wood, making model cars, or building a computer. Piano and guitar lessons are also a great way to work on these skills.