Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether third-year medical students can become proficient in open technical skills through simulation laboratory training.
Methods: A total of 204 students participated in a structured curriculum including bladder catheterization, breast examination, and knot-tying. Proficiency was documented using global rating scales and validated, objective, model-based metrics.
Results: For catheterization and breast examination, all trainees showed proficiency, and self-rated comfort increased in more than 90%. For knot-tying, 83% completed the curriculum; 57% and 44% of trainees showed proficiency for 2- and 1-handed tasks, respectively. Objective performance scores improved significantly for 2- and 1-handed knot-tying (62.9-94.4 and 49.2-89.6, respectively; P < .001) and comfort rating also increased (28%-91% and 19%-80%, respectively; P < .001).
Conclusions: Objective scores and trainee self-ratings suggest that this structured curriculum using simulator training allows junior medical students to achieve proficiency in basic surgical skills.