UTMB Study Shows How Video Games are Helping to Train Next Generation of Surgeons


The future of robotic surgery simulation training was a key talking point at this  year’s American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists’ 41st Annual Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Las Vegas.  The event kicked off with state-of-the-art post graduate courses in robotic surgery  featuring Mimic’s dV-Trainer™, the first simulator to recreate the look and feel of the da Vinci® Surgery System.

Robotic Surgery Simulation

During the AAGL Mimic Launch Party, attendees enjoyed a comparison of past video game technology with today’s state-of-the-art robotic simulation software used to train surgeons.

Later attendees joined Mimic Technologies at the Innovation in Simulation launch party to witness the unveiling of the MSim 2.0, the Robotic Simulation Platform of the Future with new suturing and knot tying exercises.

In addition, a new study offering insight on how best to train future surgeons was presented at the AAGL conference. The study came from researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) — a world leader in minimally invasive and robotic surgery , where they placed high school and college students who regularly play video games head to head with resident physicians in robotic surgery simulations. Mimic’s dV-Trainer was used for the study.

According to the study, the superior hand-eye coordination and hand skills gained from hours of repetitive joystick maneuvers mimic the abilities needed to perform today’s most technologically-advanced robotic surgeries.

This is the main finding of a study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston who sought to look at ways young people might optimally prepare themselves to be the surgeons of the future.

More details of the research are featured in an article titled “Using Skills Gleaned from Video Games, High School and College Students Outmatch Medical Residents in Surgical Simulations” by Science News Daily.

According to the article, Dr. Sami Kilic, Director of Texas Robotic Gynecology for UTMB notes these observations point to a need for surgical training to adapt to future generations of doctors who will arrive at medical school with an affinity for emerging surgical techniques. “Most physicians in practice today never learned robotic surgery in medical school,” said Kilic. “However, as we see students with enhanced visual-spatial experience and hand-eye coordination that are a result of the technologically-savvy world they are immersed in, we should rethink how best to teach this generation, ” says Kilic in the article.

Dr. Nezhat

Robotic Surgery Simulation was a hot topic at this year’s AAGL. Internationally renowned laparoscopic surgeon, Dr. Nezhat,was interviewed by Reporter Holly Bridges  from unhysterectomy.com about Mimic’s dV-Trainer.