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Construction of a Urologic Robotic Surgery Training Curriculum:
How Many Simulator Sessions Are Required for Residents to Achieve Proficiency?

originally published in The Journal of Endourology

Scott Wiener, MD, Peter Haddock, PhD, Steven Shichman, MD, and Ryan Dorin, MD

Purpose:  To define the time needed by urology residents to attain proficiency in computer-aided robotic surgery to aid in the refinement of a robotic surgery simulation curriculum.

Methods:  We undertook a retrospective review of robotic skills training data acquired during January 2012 to December 2014 from junior (postgraduate year [PGY] 2–3) and senior (PGY4–5) urology residents using the da Vinci Skills Simulator. We determined the number of training sessions attended and the level of proficiency achieved by junior and senior residents in attempting 11 basic or 6 advanced tasks, respectively.

Results:  Junior residents successfully completed 9.9 – 1.8 tasks, with 62.5% completing all 11 basic tasks. The maximal cumulative success rate of junior residents completing basic tasks was 89.8%, which was achieved within 7.0–1.5 hours of training. Of senior residents, 75% successfully completed all six advanced tasks. Senior residents attended 6.3 – 3.5 hours of training during which 5.1 – 1.6 tasks were completed. The maximal cumulative success rate of senior residents completing advanced tasks was 85.4%.

Conclusion:  When designing and implementing an effective robotic surgical training curriculum, an allocation of 10 hours of training may be optimal to allow junior and senior residents to achieve an acceptable level of surgical proficiency in basic and advanced robotic surgical skills, respectively. These data help guide the design and scheduling of a residents training curriculum within the time constraints of a resident’s workload.

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