Assessment of robotic simulation by trainees in residency programs of the Southeastern Section of the American Urologic Association

J Surg Educ. 2013 Sep-Oct;70(5):571-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2013.04.014. Epub 2013 May 24.


Objectives: To assess the Southeast Section of the American Urological Association (SESAUA) trainee exposure to and thoughts on robotic simulation.

Design: Questionnaire-based study of SESAUA residency trainees to determine their access to robotic simulation, live robotic experience to date, and opinion regarding the adequacy of current robotic training.

Setting: Three trainees from each SESAUA training program were invited to Orlando, Florida for a formal 2-day robotic training course. Day 1 was a 3-component didactic session. Day 2 involved faculty directing the trainees in set tasks on a live porcine model for 4 hours and another 4 hours on the Mimic dV-Trainer (Mimic Technologies, Inc, Seattle, WA) for directed exercises.

Participants: Thirty-two trainees from 14 programs in the SESAUA participated in the course and filled out a 1-page, 8-item questionnaire following their simulator exposure.

Results: Seventeen (53.1%) trainees, including 5 urology year-3 trainees, reported never having had robotic console time. Of the trainees, 65.6% (21 of 32) had access to the Mimic dV-Trainer or Mimic "backpack" whereas 10 had no exposure to robotic simulation; 84.4% (27 of 32) felt that the simulator replicated real-life robotic console surgery and 90.6% (29 of 32) felt the simulator was helpful or would be helpful for training in their program. Trainees felt the "tubes 2" drill, which mimics a vesicourethral anastomosis, was the most difficult drill to perform.

Conclusions: A majority of trainees in the SESAUA have had limited to no robotic console time. A high number of resident trainees in the SESAUA have exposure to virtual reality robotic simulation. Trainees believe that the simulator replicates real-life robotic console movements and almost all believe they would be benefit from having access to robotic simulation.

Keywords: Medical Knowledge; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; resident training; robotic prostatectomy; robotic surgery; robotic training; simulation.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Learning Curve
  • Prostatectomy / methods*
  • Robotics / education*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / education
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Urology / education*