Background Simulation is a useful adjunct to surgical training and there is a plethora of evidence demonstrating its value.1,2 In our region there are seven state of the art simulation centres hosting both low and high fidelity simulators. Use of these facilities requires commitment by both trainees and trainers. Thus, we have compared the uptake of simulation in ophthalmology where the programme is compulsory to both general surgery and gynaecology that run optional programmes.
Methods One of the skills centres, hosts virtual reality simulators for ophthalmology (EyeSim/SimSci, US), general surgery (LapMentor, Simbionix/Israel) and obstetrics and gynaecology (LapMentor, Simbionix/Israel). Access to them has been booked online since August 2013. Data from the booking system was retrieved (Aug ’13-May ’14) to determine the use.
Results EyeSim (SimSci, US) was used 163 times whilst the LapMentor (Simbionix/Israel) was used on 34 occasions (26/34 for research purposes rather than training) and 43 times by general surgery and gynaecology trainees respectively. Bookings for the EyeSim (SimSci, US) were made by 28 individuals, whilst only 7 general surgery trainees (including 2 research fellows conducting a trial) booked time on the LapMentor (Simbionix/Israel). By comparison 17 gynaecology trainees used the simulator. Within our region there are twice as many trainees in general surgery and gynaecology compared to ophthalmology.
Discussion A significantly larger proportion of ophthalmology trainees have trained on simulators compared to both surgery and gynaecology with surgical trainees making least use of the facility. Furthermore, the frequency of usage by trainees was greater for ophthalmology trainees. This suggests that simulation training should become compulsory for trainees and that confirmation of appropriate learning should be demonstrated prior to operating on patients.
Kurashima Y, Feldman LS, Kaneva PA, Fried GM, Bergman S, Demyttenaere SV, Li C, Vassiliou MC. Simulation-based training improves the operative performance of totally extraperitoneal (TEP) laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Surg Endosc. 2014 Mar;28(3):783–8
Nagendran M, Gurusamy KS, Aggarwal R, Loizidou M, Davidson BR. Virtual reality training for surgical trainees in laparoscopic surgery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;27:8
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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