Background: Several teaching models for ERCP are now available. Live, anesthetized porcine models have been used for many years, but harvested porcine organ preparations have recently been developed, and computer-based endoscopy simulators now incorporate ERCP modules. Each has proven to be a useful educational modality, but there is no direct comparison among these models. This study compared the performance of these 3 ERCP teaching models.
Methods: Twenty endoscopists used each ERCP training model (computer simulator, harvested porcine organ, live anesthetized pig) and then completed a survey grading the realism and performance of each model compared with performance of ERCP in patients. A rank order was established for the models relative to their realism, educational utility, ease of use, and ease of incorporation into a training program.
Results: The harvested porcine organ model scored highest on indices of realism, usefulness, and performance, although this reached statistical significance only for "ease of use" (p < 0.05). Conversely, the computer simulator scored significantly lower in most realism scores, although it was felt to be the one model most easily incorporated into a training program.
Conclusions: Although each ERCP teaching model has proven to be a useful training modality, the harvested porcine organ model was felt to be the most realistic as well as the most favorable model for instruction in both basic and advanced ERCP.