Should simulator-based endovascular training be integrated into general surgery residency programs?Am J Surg. 2007 Aug; 194(2):212-9.AJ
The impact of high-fidelity simulators as an adjunct for endovascular training of general surgery residents has not yet been defined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate general surgery resident perspectives on the value of a simulator-based endovascular training program by using various measurement tools.
General surgery residents in postgraduate years 1 to 5 (n = 50) participated in a focused endovascular training course covering aortoiliac, renal, and carotid artery disease. The components of the course included didactic lecture, self-learning course material and computer training modules, hands-on exposure to endovascular instruments, and endovascular procedure simulation using a mobile SimSuite unit (Medical Simulation Corporation, Denver, CO). Course participants completed pre- and postcourse questionnaires, knowledge-based testing, and endovascular simulator metric testing.
Of the 50 general surgery residents who completed the precourse questionnaire and knowledge-based testing, 41 completed the entire program including the postcourse questionnaire and knowledge-based testing, and 33 completed endovascular simulation metric testing. Subjective responses from pre- and postcourse surveys highlighting the residents' perceptions of the potential role of endovascular simulation as part of general surgery residency training showed favorable responses. On completion of the course, mean knowledge-based test scores had statistically significant improvement (pretest, n = 50, 59.5% +/- 12.1% correct and posttest, n = 41, 69.1% +/- 15.4% correct [P = .003]). For metric testing of a simulated endovascular procedure (n = 33), 93.9% completed all of the defined tasks within the allotted time period (mean time, 12.2 +/- 4.36 minutes; range, 4.1-26.6 minutes; 95% confidence interval for mean 10.8-13.6 minutes).
Based on subjective and objective measures, general surgery residents found valuable and benefited in knowledge base from a focused simulator-based endovascular training program. Integrating endovascular simulation into general surgery resident training and its influence on resident interest in vascular specialization as a career choice holds future potential.