Residency Training in Robotic General Surgery: A Survey of Program Directors
Lea C. George, Rebecca O’Neill, and Aziz M. Merchant
Robotic surgery continues to expand in minimally invasive surgery; however, the literature is insufficient to understand the current training process for general surgery residents. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify the current approach to and perspectives on robotic surgery training.
An electronic survey was distributed to general surgery program directors identified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website. Multiple choice and open- ended questions regarding current practices and opinions on robotic surgery training in general surgery residency programs were used.
20 program directors were surveyed, a majority being from medium-sized programs (4–7 graduating residents per year). Most respondents (73.68%) had a formal robotic surgery curriculum at their institution, with 63.16% incorporating simulation training. Approximately half of the respondents believe that more time should be dedicated to robotic surgery training (52.63%), with simulation training prior to console use (84.21%). About two-thirds of the respondents (63.16%) believe that a formal robotic surgery curriculum should be established as a part of general surgery residency, with more than half believing that exposure should occur in postgraduate year one (55%).
A formal robotics curriculum with simulation training and early surgical exposure for general surgery residents should be given consideration in surgical residency training.