To the Editor:
Most surgeons are familiar with the phrase “see one, do one, teach one.” This phrase embodies the concept of learning procedures by doing them. It fails to convey to trainees growing up in a system less than tolerant of mistakes and complications that the learning is “…on a person (the patient).” Despite oversimplifying the true nature of becoming a proceduralist, this mantra pervades all technical-based subspecialties. Patients who have entrusted their lives to surgeons and trainees have endured risks and complications as they knowingly—and sometimes unknowingly—serve as the practice model for physicians to learn and develop their knowledge and skills. With the use of simulators and increasing use of three-dimensional (3-D) printers, perhaps we can better train the next generation of surgeons with less risk conferred to patients.
It has been more than 20 years since Satava1 suggested that virtual reality surgical simulation would change the paradigm in procedural training. Only a decade later, surgical simulation became popular for endovascular procedures such as carotid stenting;2 training under simulation has shown a marked objective improvement in acquiring the skillset to perform angiographic procedures safely.3-8 With the introduction of 3-D printing to the simulation world and related advances to perfect patient-specific models,9,10 the use of simulation, particularly 3-D-printed models, is becoming an integral tool to train budding proceduralists.