Background: Simulation has been adopted as a powerful training tool in many areas of health care. However, it has not yet been systematically embraced in neurosurgery because of the absence of validated tools, assessment scales, and curricula.
Objective: To use our validated microanastomosis module and scale to evaluate the effects of an educational intervention on the performance of neurosurgery residents at the 2012 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting.
Methods: The module consisted of an end-to-end microanastomosis of a 3-mm vessel and was divided into 3 phases: (1) a cognitive and microsuture prelecture testing phase, (2) a didactic lecture, and (3) a cognitive and microsuture postlecture testing phase. We compared resident knowledge and technical proficiency from the pretesting and posttesting phases.
Results: One neurosurgeon and 7 neurosurgery residents participated in the study. None had previous experience in microsurgery. The average score on the microsuture prelecture and postlecture tests, as measured by our assessment scale, was 32.50 and 39.75, respectively (P = .001). The number of completed sutures at the end of each procedure was higher for 75% of participants in the postlecture testing phase (P = .03). The average score on the cognitive postlecture test (12.75) was significantly better than that of the cognitive prelecture test (8.38; P = .001).
Conclusion: Simulation has the potential to enhance resident education and to elevate proficiency levels. Our data suggest that a focused microsurgical module that incorporates a didactic component and a technical component can enhance resident knowledge and technical proficiency in microsurgical anastomosis.
From: A Didactic and Hands-on Module Enhances Resident Microsurgical Knowledge and Technical Skill by Bendok et al.