An overview of research priorities in surgical simulation: what the literature shows has been achieved during the 21st century and what remains

Am J Surg. 2016 Jan;211(1):214-25. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2015.06.014. Epub 2015 Aug 12.


Background: Key research priorities for surgical simulation have been identified in recent years. The aim of this study was to establish the progress that has been made within each research priority and what still remains to be achieved.

Methods: Members of the Association for Surgical Education Simulation Committee conducted individualized literature reviews for each research priority that were brought together by an expert panel.

Results: Excellent progress has been made in the assessment of individual and teamwork skills in simulation. The best methods of feedback and debriefing have not yet been established. Progress in answering more complex questions related to competence and transfer of training is slower than other questions. A link between simulation training and patient outcomes remains elusive.

Conclusions: Progress has been made in skills assessment, curricula development, debriefing and decision making in surgery. The impact of simulation training on patient outcomes represents the focus of simulation research in the years to come.

Keywords: Competence; Curriculum; Education; Simulation; Skills; Training.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Simulation Training / methods*
  • United States