Resident Perceptions of Virtual Reality Versus Dry Lab Simulation for Advanced Shoulder Arthroscopy Resident Training

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Surgical Innovation


Introduction: Surgical training using simulation can fill gaps in traditional surgical residency learning. We hypothesize that arthroscopy training conducted on a virtual reality simulator will be preferred by orthopaedic surgery residents over a traditional dry lab simulation model. Methods: 38 orthopaedic surgery residents at a single U.S. residency program were randomized to train for a shoulder arthroscopy procedure using either a virtual reality simulator or a table-top dry lab simulator. Training and learning preferences were then asked of the resident participants. Results: Junior residents were likely to report training preference for the virtual reality simulator compared to senior residents [15/24 (62.5%) v. 8/14 (57.1%); P =.043]. Simulator preference was not influenced by subspecialty interest, prior arthroscopy experience, or simulator experience. Virtual reality simulation was associated with positive attitude towards arthroscopy and high chance of reporting learning gains on general arthroscopic understanding. Senior residents were 4.7 times more likely than juniors to report learning gains via staff discussion pre- and post-operatively. A majority of residents [34/38 (89.5%)] reported, however, wanting more simulation for training surgical skills. Conclusion: Simulation is a desired and potentially valuable adjunct to training orthopaedic residents in arthroscopy. Training needs do evolve; and junior arthroscopists may benefit more from virtual reality platforms for general skills. Senior residents preferred dry lab simulation, possibly because it allowed for handling of actual instruments and implants.

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