UroToday- The interest in simulation-based medical education is increasing particularly for high-reliability teams such as in the operating room, emergency room, and intensive care unit. The primary aim of a simulation-based training program is to integrate individual technical performance with team skills training to make the most effective use of all resources available during management of various scenarios. Simulation provides the opportunity for repetitive practice in a no-risk environment to explore all possible outcomes and risks or complications.

It is quickly being validated and accepted as necessary in all areas of medical education. This report is encouraging as 76% of responding urological training program directors report access to a laparoscopic simulator.

However, it is somewhat discouraging that only 41 of 119 (35%) of urology program directors responded to the questionnaire. Are we to assume that 65% of directors do not have an interest in or recognize the importance of, simulation to surgical training to bother responding to this important survey.

It is also interesting that such a high proportion have access to a laparoscopic simulator. Surprisingly, significantly fewer have access to simulation for cystoscopy (16%), ureteroscopy (21%), TUR (8%), and percutaneous renal access (12%). Do they realize that practice on even low-fidelity plastic models is included in simulation-based training?

There is a real need for increased awareness and understanding of simulation as a training tool in the urological training program. This concept must be addressed and developed with the program directors for the benefits of trainees and their prospective patients.

Le CQ, Lightner DJ, VanderLei L, Segura JW, Gettman MT
J of Urol 177(1); 288 291, 2007

Reviewed by UroToday Contributing Editor Elspeth McDougall, MD

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