Residency

Trainees perform better on simulator exercise than attending physicians

Residency Program Insider, March 31, 2009

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Virtual reality training is a new educational method in residency programs, and little is known about how performance on such training instruments correlate to physician experience.

Medical students, residents, and attending gynecologic surgeons at Baystate Medical Center (MA) received training on the Minimally Invasive Surgery Trainer-Virtual Reality (MIST-VR) laparoscopic trainer. All participants then completed a new simulated task, which they repeated until they were deemed proficient.

Medical students and residents outperformed attending physicians, who required twice as many attempts to reach proficiency. Researchers report that age and more operating room experience are associated with poor simulator performance. However, study authors say performance on MIST-VR may not be indicative of actual experience or ability for attending surgeons.

The study, “Novices outperform experienced laparoscopists on virtual reality laparoscopy simulator,” is published in the Oct–Dec 2008 issue of Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.



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