Voluntary autonomous simulator based training in minimally invasive surgery, residents' compliance and reflection

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Knot tying and suturing skills in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) differ markedly from those in open surgery. Appropriate MIS training is mandatory before implementation into practice. The Advanced Suturing Course (ASC) is a structured simulator based training course that includes a 6-week autonomous training period at home on a traditional laparoscopic box trainer. Previous research did not demonstrate a significant progress in laparoscopic skills after this training period. This study aims to identify factors determining autonomous training on a laparoscopic box trainer at home. Residents (n = 97) attending 1 of 7 ASC courses between January 2009 and June 2011 were consecutively included. After 6 weeks of autonomous, training a questionnaire was completed. A random subgroup of 30 residents was requested to keep a time log. All residents received an online survey after attending the ASC. We performed outcome comparison to examine the accuracy of individual responses. Out of 97 residents, the main motives for noncompliant autonomous training included a lack of (training) time after working hours (n = 80, 83.3%), preferred practice time during working hours (n = 76, 31.6%), or another surgical interest than MIS (n = 79, 15.2%). Previously set training goals would encourage autonomous training according to 27.8% (n = 18) of residents. Thirty participants submitted a time log and reported an average 76.5-minute weekly training time. All residents confirmed that autonomous home practice on a laparoscopic box trainer is valuable. Autonomous practice should be structured and inclusive of adequate and sufficient feedback points. A minimally required practice time should be set. An obligatory assessment, including corresponding consequence should be conducted. Compliance herewith may result in increased voluntary (autonomous) simulator based (laparoscopic) training by residents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-570
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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