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General Surgical Training

Doctors and nurses performing a surgery in an operating room

General surgeons often lack hands-on experience in many surgical procedures upon completion of their residency program, according to a major study by the American Board of Surgery and the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, and Operative Experience Inc.’s simulation based curriculum can effectively fill the void. ‘Of 121 surgeries deemed “A Level Procedures” –  those procedures a graduating general surgeon should be competent to perform independently after a 5 year residency program – only 18 of the procedures were performed an average of ten times or more, 83 of 121 procedures were performed an average of less than 5 times and 31 procedures less than once.   For 63 of the 121 procedures, the mode (most commonly reported) experience was 0. In addition, there was significant variation between residents in operative experience for specific procedures.”*

The study concludes that “methods will have to be developed to allow surgeons to reach a basic level of competence in procedures which they are likely to experience only rarely during residency”… and stressing the need to determine objectively whether residents are actually achieving basic competency in the more commonly performed procedures.  OEI provides the solution.  OEI’s instructional model enables residents to view an annotated instructional video tape of a procedure and to repetitively perform the procedure on fully operable, anatomically correct simulators until mastery.  The approach is cost effective, greatly increases surgical experience, and reduces time to familiarization, competence, and mastery.  OEI also enables rapid and cost effective instruction for established surgeons in new procedures, and in the use of new medical devices.

*Annals of Surgery: May 2009 – Volume 249 – Issue 5 – pp 719-724, Operative Experience of Residents in US General Surgery Programs: A Gap Between Expectation and Experience. Bell, Richard H. Jr MD*; Biester, Thomas W. MS*; Tabuenca, Arnold MD†; Rhodes, Robert S. MD*; Cofer, Joseph B. MD‡; Britt, L D. MD, MPH§; Lewis, Frank R. Jr MD

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