Experience with a simulator-based angiography course for neurosurgical residents: beyond a pilot program

Neurosurgery. 2013 Oct:73 Suppl 1:46-50. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000059.


Background: Simulation is an increasingly useful means of teaching in the era of duty hour restrictions. Since the completion of our diagnostic cerebral angiography simulator curriculum pilot program, we have performed this resident course at 2 Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) annual meetings with larger participant numbers.

Objective: To report the ongoing results of these courses.

Methods: A 120-minute simulator-based training course was performed at 2 CNS annual meetings. Precourse written and simulator skills assessments were performed, followed by instructor-guided training on an endovascular simulator. Postcourse written and simulator practical assessments were then performed and compared with precourse scores.

Results: Thirty-seven neurosurgery resident participants completed the course module: 16 completed the first course provided and 21 completed the second. Posttest written scores were significantly higher than pretest scores (mean ± SEM, 8.5 ± 0.40.3 vs 4.9 ± 0.3; P < .001). Instructor assessments of practical posttest scores of participants were significantly higher than pretest practical scores for both the CNS 2011 and CNS 2012 groups (P < .001).

Conclusion: The expansion of a curriculum-based, cerebral angiography simulator pilot program to trainees through courses at national neurosurgical meetings demonstrated excellent results with significant improvements in written test scores and instructor assessments of participant technical skills. With ever-expanding improvements in simulation technology and realism, simulator training for cerebral angiography may become an integral component of resident training in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Computer Simulation
  • Curriculum
  • Endovascular Procedures / education
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Neurosurgery / education*
  • Pilot Projects
  • User-Computer Interface