The Utilization of Video Technology in Surgical Education: A Systematic Review

J Surg Res. 2019 Mar:235:171-180. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.09.015. Epub 2018 Oct 26.


Background: The use of surgical video has great potential to enhance surgical education, but there exists limited information about how to effectively use surgical videos. We performed a systematic review of video technology in surgical training and provided evidence-based recommendations for its effective use.

Materials and methods: A systematic review of literature on surgical video in residency education was conducted. All articles meeting inclusion criteria were evaluated for technical characteristics pertaining to video usage. Included studies were critically appraised using a quality-scoring system. Recommendations were provided for the effective implementation of video in surgical education based on associations with improved training outcomes.

Results: Twenty articles met inclusion criteria. In these studies, the source of video acquisition was primarily laparoscopy (40.0% of papers), and the main perspective of video was endoscopy (45.0%). Features of videos included supplementation with other educational tools (55.0%), schematic diagrams or images (50.0%), audio (40.0%), and narration (25.0%). Videos were primarily viewed preoperatively (60.0%) or postoperatively (50.0%). The intended viewer for videos was usually residents (70.0%) but also included attendings/faculty (30.0%). When compared with a nonvideo training group, video training was associated with improved resident knowledge (100%), improved operative performance (81.3%), and greater participant satisfaction (100%).

Conclusions: Based on this review, we recommend that surgical training programs incorporate schematics and imaging into video, supplement video with other education tools, and utilize audio in video. For video review, we recommend that residents review video preoperatively and postoperatively for learning and that attendings review video postoperatively for assessment.

Keywords: Education; Residency; Surgery; Systematic review; Video.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Specialties, Surgical / education*
  • Video Recording*