Backgrounds: COVID-19 related reduction of surgical procedures jeopardizes learning on the job of surgical residents. Many educators resorted to digital resources in the search for alternatives. However, these resources are often limited to the extent they offer resident-surgeon interaction like a joint surgical performance does. Here we present a roadmap of livestreaming surgical procedures, and evaluate how surgical livestreams on human cadavers address the unmet educational needs of surgical residents in our Dutch nationwide initiative. Methods: Technical and organizational feasibility, and definition of outcome deliverables for the livestream series and per livestream were essential in livestream development. Faculty selected interventions, lecture contents, and participant preparations. Appropriate location, technical setup, and support were imperative for a stable, high-quality stream with integrated interaction, while maintaining digital privacy. A survey was sent to livestream participants to evaluate each livestream, and allow for constant improvement during the broadcasting of the series. Only surveys which were completed by surgical residents were included in the analysis of this study. Results: Each livestream attracted 139–347 unique viewers and a total of 307 surveys were completed by participants (response rate of 23–38% per livestream). Sixty percent of surveys (n = 185) were completed by surgical residents. Livestreams were highly valued (appreciation 7.7 ± 1.1 and recommendation 8.6 ± 1.1), especially the live procedures combined with interaction and theoretical backgrounds. Criticized were technical difficulties and timing of the livestreams between 5 and 7 pm, which interfered with clinical duties. Conclusion: Livestreaming surgical procedures on human cadavers is a valid and valued solution to augment resident education. Digital privacy and a stable, high-quality interactive stream are essential, as are appropriate moderation and relevant lectures. While livestreaming cannot replace hands-on training in the operating room, it enables surgeon-resident interaction which is key in education—and missed in pre-recorded surgical procedures which are currently available online.
- Surgical training