Nicholas L, Toren K, Bingham J, Marquart J. Simulation in dermatologic surgery: a new paradigm in training. Dermatologic Surgery. 2013;39(1):76-81

PMID: 23205759


BACKGROUND: Simulation-based training has become popular in many surgical residencies for acquiring procedural skills, but simulator use is rare in dermatologic training.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the perceived efficacy of obtaining dermatologic procedural skills using simulators.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Opinions of dermatology residents and staff regarding simulator use were assessed using questionnaires completed after a 2-day surgical symposium in which participants were instructed on and practiced with simulators and cadavers.

RESULTS: Overall, 93.9% strongly agreed that simulators are helpful in acquiring procedural skills. More than three-quarters of participants agreed that simulators are useful in acquiring, refining, assessing, and learning these skills. Many participants further thought that simulator use would be beneficial in learning anatomy and trouble-shooting techniques. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed believed that training on simulators would be helpful in learning various dermatologic procedures; 90.9% of participants thought that training using simulators should be, at least in part, a mandatory component of residency. It was felt that this training should be conducted at the beginning of residency, with additional with sessions held throughout training.

CONCLUSION: Simulation offers an excellent model for the acquisition and assessment of dermatologic procedural skills. Cost and availability of instructors remain obstacles. Further studies are required to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of these models.

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