Surgical Training Can Be Fun and Games
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 03:56 PM

Make simulation training like a game and surgical residents will want to play, researchers reported in a letter in JAMA Surgery.  It works even better if it's competitive and gives prizes.

In a 14-week study, researchers tried out an $85,000 da Vinci Skills Simulator to practice minimally invasive surgical techniques.  Only three residents accepted the invitation initially, for four sessions, doing 28 exercises, and spending a total of 2.7 hours training.

Then, at week seven's end, a tournament was announced and prizes were added as well, ranging from $50 to an iPad.  Participation surged -- by week 14, a total of 21 residents had done 70 sessions and 1,632 exercises, spending 83.9 hours using the simulator.