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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Surgical simulation: Current practices and future perspectives for technical skills training

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Simulation-based training (SBT) has become a standard component of modern surgical education, yet successful implementation of evidence-based training programs remains challenging. In this narrative review, we use Kern's framework for curriculum development to describe where we are now and what lies ahead for SBT within surgery with a focus on technical skills in operative procedures. Despite principles for optimal SBT (proficiency-based, distributed, and deliberate practice) having been identified, massed training with fixed time intervals or a fixed number of repetitions is still being extensively used, and simulators are generally underutilized. SBT should be part of surgical training curricula, including theoretical, technical, and non-technical skills, and be based on relevant needs assessments. Furthermore, training should follow evidence-based theoretical principles for optimal training, and the effect of training needs to be evaluated using relevant outcomes. There is a larger, still unrealized potential of surgical SBT, which may be realized in the near future as simulator technologies evolve, more evidence-based training programs are implemented, and cost-effectiveness and impact on patient safety is clearly demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Teacher
Volume40
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
ISSN0142-159X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

ID: 55663634