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Surgical training: Attention and proficiency-based performance. How to get there?

In the Innosuisse Flagship project PROFICIENCY we are reshaping the surgical training into proficiency-base performance. Among other developments, various modern learning concepts are introduced to the simulator-based and data-driven surgical training.

One of the cornerstones of these concepts is the deliberate practice approach. Mindless repetitions will belong to the past. The novel surgical training will demand focused attention and will be undertaken with the explicit aim of enhancing the individual performance. It entails:

  • Providing trainees with immediate, informative, and actionable feedback after each performance, enabling them to make necessary adjustments for individual improvement.

  • Emphasizing the need for trainees to repetitively perform the same or similar tasks.

  • Ensuring that practiced tasks align with individualized instructions and guidance from a teacher.

Dive into cutting-edge surgical training! Follow us for a sneak peek into modern learning concepts shaping the future of surgery education.

Why introducing modern learning concepts in surgical training?

Before embarking on our Innosuisse Flagship project, PROFICIENCY, we conducted a survey to gauge the sentiments of surgeons in Switzerland regarding the readiness of surgical trainees. The findings revealed that over 40% of surveyed surgeons somewhat disagreed with the notion that surgical trainees are adequately qualified to work independently in the operating room. Additionally, when questioned about whether the procedure catalog accurately reflects the trainees' operational skills, more than 50% of respondents somewhat or clearly disagreed.

Hence, the question arised: Is the certified clinician for surgery truly prepared for the multifaceted challenges of the broader professional landscape?

Enter PROFICIENCY, a project poised to revolutionize surgical training by introducing a new paradigm focused on standardization and certification. We say: The traditional training method espoused by William S. Halsted in 1889, encapsulated in the "see one, do one, teach one" approach, is deemed outdated. The belief that replication of clinical practices under expert supervision alone is sufficient for training the next generation of clinicians no longer aligns with the dynamic landscape of surgical advancements and evidence-based assessment.

Particularly, the evolution of Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS) in the last 25 years has prompted a departure from conventional surgical training. MIS, driven by its compelling patient-centered and consequential economic benefits, demands surgeons to operate at the pinnacle of their perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor abilities.

MIS has catalyzed the development of cutting-edge technologies, including simulation platforms utilizing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These technologies create realistic environments for trainees to safely practice surgical procedures and enhance their resilience by simulating complications. Online platforms complement these advancements, offering interactive modules and modern learning concepts for self-paced learning.

Capitalizing on this momentum, PROFICIENCY consolidates the progress made in the last 25 years. It unifies cutting-edge simulators and leverages VR and AR technologies to enable a holistic skill development, modern learning concepts, and a rich curriculum for laparoscopic and arthroscopic surgery. Notably, it introduces a data-driven assessment tool for unbiased performance evaluation, cultivating a profound grasp of surgical techniques and educational principles to enhance overall competency.


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