Simulators Useful in Training Surgeons

What could best train aspiring surgeons in performing their job in a more efficient manner? The answer to this question is a simulator. At least this is what a new study conducted by a Danish research team found out.

The study done by the Copenhagen University Hospital team showed that surgeons who undergo training using simulators do their work better and faster. The group kept track of the performance of some 24 junior doctors performing keyhole surgery. In this study, what the Danish team used was computer simulation that provided a real life situation for the doctors.

What the Danish team did was to divide the doctors specializing in obstetrics and gynecology into two groups. The first group was trained by senior doctors the traditional way that is by tutoring the newer physicians on the proper surgical procedures while the other group was given additional seven hours of training using simulators.

In comparing their performances, the researchers found that those who had the opportunity to use computer simulators took only about 12 minutes to finish the operation on a patient. As to how the procedure was carried out, those trained with simulators also performed better than the other group.

This positive development, according to the team leader, should be enough proof for medical schools to incorporate simulator training in the curriculum of surgical trainees before they are given a hands-on experience on patient procedures. Christian Rifbjerg added that this kind of training can help improve patient safety and doctors’ efficiency in the operating room.

The study of the Danish team was recently published in the British Medical Journal. It was a response to the call of England’s chief medical officer for more simulation training in the National Health Service of the U.K. and stricter guidelines for doctors. The British Medical Association has already expressed its commitment to this call.

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