The utility of virtual reality surgical simulation in the undergraduate otorhinolaryngology curriculum

J Laryngol Otol. 2018 Dec;132(12):1072-1076. doi: 10.1017/S0022215118002025. Epub 2018 Nov 20.


Objective: To examine the impact of temporal bone virtual reality surgical simulator use in the undergraduate otorhinolaryngology curriculum.

Methods: Medical students attended a workshop involving the use of a temporal bone virtual reality surgical simulator. Students completed a pre-workshop questionnaire on career interests. A post-workshop questionnaire evaluated the perceived usefulness and enjoyment of the virtual reality surgical simulator experience, and assessed changes in their interest in ENT.

Results: Thirty-two fifth-year University of Auckland medical students were recruited. The majority of students (53.1 per cent) had already chosen their career path. The simulator experience was useful for: stimulating thoughts around career plans (71.9 per cent), providing hands-on experience (93.8 per cent) and teaching disease processes (93.8 per cent). After the workshop, 53.1 per cent of students were more interested in a career in ENT.

Conclusion: Virtual reality may be a fun and engaging way of teaching ENT. Furthermore, it could help guide student career planning.

Keywords: Mastoidectomy; Medical Students; Otolaryngology; Undergraduate Medical Education; Virtual Reality.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mastoidectomy / education*
  • New Zealand
  • Otolaryngology / education*
  • Simulation Training / methods*
  • Temporal Bone / surgery
  • Virtual Reality*