Measuring Surgical Skills in Simulation-based Training

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Abstract

Simulation-based surgical skills training addresses several concerns associated with the traditional apprenticeship model, including patient safety, efficient acquisition of complex skills, and cost. The surgical specialties already recognize the advantages of surgical training using simulation, and simulation-based methods are appearing in surgical education and assessment for board certification. The necessity of simulation-based methods in surgical education along with valid, objective, standardized techniques for measuring learned skills using simulators has become apparent. The most commonly used surgical skill measurement techniques in simulation-based training include questionnaires and post-training surveys, objective structured assessment of technical skills and global rating scale of performance scoring systems, structured assessments using video recording, and motion tracking software. The literature shows that the application of many of these techniques varies based on investigator preference and the convenience of the technique. As simulators become more accepted as a teaching tool, techniques to measure skill proficiencies will need to be standardized nationally and internationally.

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