Lewis TM, Aggarwal R, Rajaretnam N, Grantcharov TP, Darzi A. Training in surgical oncology - The role of VR simulation. Surg Oncol. 2011 Sep;20(3):134-9. Epub 2011 May 24

PMID: 21605972


There have been dramatic changes in surgical training over the past two decades which have resulted in a number of concerns for the development of future surgeons. Changes in the structure of cancer services, working hour restrictions and a commitment to patient safety has led to a reduction in training opportunities that are available to the surgeon in training. Simulation and in particular virtual reality (VR) simulation has been heralded as an effective adjunct to surgical training. Advances in VR simulation has allowed trainees to practice realistic full length procedures in a safe and controlled environment, where mistakes are permitted and can be used as learning points. There is considerable evidence to demonstrate that the VR simulation can be used to enhance technical skills and improve operating room performance. Future work should focus on the cost effectiveness and predictive validity of VR simulation, which in turn would increase the uptake of simulation and enhance surgical training.