Vlaovic PD, and McDougall EM. New age teaching: beyond didactics. Scientific World Journal.2006 Mar 8;6:2370-80.

PMID: 17619704


Widespread acceptance of laparoscopic urology techniques has posed many challenges to training urology residents and allowing postgraduate urologists to acquire often difficult new surgical skills. Several factors in surgical training programs are limiting the ability to train residents in the operating room, including limited-hours work weeks, increasing demand for operating room productivity, and general public awareness of medical errors. As such, surgical simulation may provide an opportunity to enhance residency experience and training, and optimize post-graduate acquisition of new skills and maintenance of competency. This review article explains and defines the various levels of validity as it pertains to surgical simulators. The most recently and comprehensively validity tested simulators are outlined and summarized. The potential role of surgical simulation in the formative and summative assessment of surgical trainees, as well as, the certification and recertification process of postgraduate surgeons will be delineated. Surgical simulation will be an important adjunct to the traditional methods of surgical skills training and will allow surgeons to maintain their proficiency in the technically challenging aspects of minimally invasive urologic surgery.