Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons

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SimNow curriculum on the robotic platform may enhance resident learning: A pilot study
Alexis Graham-Stephenson, Yee Lee Cheah, Marc Mangianello, Syed Quadri, Ambareen Jan, Valena Wright
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, MA

Background: Beginning February 2020, a robotic curriculum using Da Vinci SimNow was initiated for surgical residents at our institution.
Methods: An independent survey was distributed to all residents who had access to the SimNow within the departments of General Surgery, Gynecology, and Urology. The curriculum consisted of a pretest, seven required modules consisting of 3-4 exercises each, and a posttest (all requiring benchmark pass rates of 90%).
Results: Of the 14 residents who completed the survey, the majority had little console experience (0-5 hours) prior to beginning the curriculum (n=8). Most residents agreed or strongly agreed that SimNow was a realistic virtual platform when it came to camera motion (n=10), primary robotic arms and 3rd arm motion (n=11), and use of energy (n=7). Half of the residents felt the same about needle driving (n=6) and knot tying (n=5). 75% reported they were likely to use the SimNow platform even if the curriculum was not mandated. All of the residents (n=6) who both completed the survey and the curriculum, felt that SimNow improved their technical skills on the robotic console. Reported barriers to completion included limited access due to COVID-19, clinical responsibilities, and subspecialty interest that excludes robotic surgery.
Conclusion: Mandatory robotic simulation training may enhance resident performance in the operating room while shortening learning curves. A larger pool of residents must be studied in the future and efforts should be made to validate such curriculum if further findings show promising results.


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