Consensus on technical procedures for simulation-based training in thoracic surgery: an international needs assessment

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2023 Apr 3;63(4):ezad058. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezad058.


Objectives: To identify and prioritize technical procedures for simulation-based training to be integrated into the thoracic surgical curriculum.

Methods: A 3-round Delphi survey was conducted from February 2022 to June 2022 among 34 key opinion leaders in thoracic surgery from 14 countries worldwide. The 1st round was a brainstorming phase to identify technical procedures that a newly qualified thoracic surgeon should be able to perform. All the suggested procedures were categorized, qualitatively analysed and sent to the 2nd round. The second round investigated: the frequency of the identified procedure at each institution, the number of thoracic surgeons that should be able to perform these procedures, the degree of risk to the patient if the procedure is performed by a non-competent thoracic surgeon and the feasibility of simulation-based education. In the 3rd round, elimination and re-ranking of the procedures from the 2nd round were performed.

Results: Response rates in the 3 iterative rounds were 80% (28 out of 34), 89% (25 out of 28) and 100% (25 out of 25) in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd round, respectively. Seventeen technical procedures were included for simulation-based training in the final prioritized list. The top 5 procedures were Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) lobectomy, VATS segmentectomy, VATS mediastinal lymph node dissection, diagnostic flexible bronchoscopy and robotic-assisted thoracic surgery port placement, robotic-assisted thoracic surgery docking and undocking.

Conclusions: The prioritized list of procedures represents a consensus of key thoracic surgeons worldwide. These procedures are suitable for simulation-based training and should be integrated in the thoracic surgical curriculum.

Keywords: Core curriculum; Delphi Technique; Education; Needs assessment; Simulation training; Thoracic Surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment
  • Simulation Training*
  • Thoracic Surgery*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted