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Incorporation of the da Vinci Surgical Skills Simulator at urology Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs): a pilot study
Division of Urology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Feb 2016 (Vol. 23, Issue 1, Pages( 8160 - 8166)
PMID: 26892058


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    To incorporate the da Vinci Surgical Skills Simulator (dVSSS) into Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and to assess basic robotic skills of urology Post-Graduate Trainees (PGTs).


    PGTs in post-graduate years (PGY-3 to PGY-5) from two Quebec urology training programs were recruited. During a 20 minute OSCE station, PGTs were asked to fill in a questionnaire and perform two tasks: pick and place, and energy dissection level 1. For each exercise, the norm-referenced method was used to establish a passing score to determine competency. The participant was considered competent in these two basic dVSSS exercises if he/she gained the passing score on both tasks.


    All nine PGTs who attended the OSCE voluntarily participated in the study. They had performed a median of 10 (IQR: 2.5-16) laparoscopic procedures, 2 (0-8) robotic procedures, and assisted 10 (IQR: 0-15) robotic procedures at the bedside prior to this OSCE. Based on a passing score of 90 for task 1 and 72 for task 2, there were 3 (33%) competent PGTs, all of whom were from PGY-5 level. Therefore, there was significant difference among PGY levels in terms of competency for the basic robotic skills tested (p = 0.01). When compared with PGTs, experts had performed significantly higher numbers of robotic procedures (5.2 +/- 2.4 versus 25 +/- 8.7; p = 0.02). However, there was no significant difference in the performance parameters between PGTs and experts in both tasks. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the feasibility of incorporating dVSSS into OSCEs to assess basic robotic skills of urology PGTs. Future studies need to include more complex exercises and larger sample size to expand on these results.

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