Simulation in Neurosurgery Supplement: Training With a Novel Cervical Spine Simulator

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 1.28.51 PMBackground: Neurosurgical residents have traditionally been instructed on surgical techniques and procedures through an apprenticeship model. Currently, there has been research and interest in expanding the neurosurgical education model.

Objective: To establish a posterior cervical decompression educational curriculum with a novel cervical simulation model.

Methods: The Congress of Neurological Surgeons developed a simulation committee to explore and develop simulation-based models. The educational curriculum was developed to have didactic and technical components with the incorporation of simulation models. Through numerous reiterations, a posterior cervical decompression model was developed and a 2-hour education curriculum was established.

Results: Individual’s level of training varied, with 5 postgraduate year (PGY) 2 participants, 1 PGY-3 participant, 2 PGY-5 participants, and 1 attending, with the majority being international participants (6 of 9, 67%). Didactic scores overall improved (7 of 9, 78%). The technical scores of all participants improved from 11 to 24 (mean, 14.1) to 19 to 25 (mean, 22.4). Overall, in the posterior cervical decompression simulator, there was a significant improvement in the didactic scores (P = .005) and the technical scores (P = .02).

Conclusion: The posterior cervical decompression simulation model appears to be a valuable tool in educating neurosurgery residents in the aspects of this procedure. The combination of a didactic and technical assessment is a useful teaching strategy in terms of educational development.

From: Neurosurgical Training With a Novel Cervical Spine Simulator: Posterior Foraminotomy and Laminectomy by Harrop et al.

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