Kilkenny JJ, White K, Singh A. Evaluating veterinary student skill acquisition on a laparoscopic suturing exercise after simulation training. Vet Surg. 2019 Jun;48(S1):O66-O73

PMID: 30168604


Objective: To determine whether veterinary students could train to a predefined proficiency level on a simulated intracorporeal laparoscopic suturing task.

Study design: Single group preinterventional and postinterventional study.

Sample population: Ten veterinary students.

Methods: Ten veterinary students completed a questionnaire about prior experiences and watched a 7-minute demonstration video prior to performing a laparoscopic intracorporeal suture task on a simulator. Participants were tested at pretraining and for a period of 8 weeks. Overall group improvement in scores and time to completion (seconds) from pretraining to final testing was analyzed by using a Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test. The same variables were compared among individuals with different background experiences (eg, video game experience) by using a Mann-Whitney U test. The average number of repetitions to reach proficiency was recorded.

Results: All participants reached the predefined proficiency level on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery intracorporeal suture task. The average number of repetitions required to reach proficiency was 18 ± 7, and there was significant improvement in both time to completion (seconds) and scores from pretraining to final testing (P = .005). The number of repetitions required to reach proficiency, pretraining times, final times, pretraining scores, and final scores did not differ among veterinary students with different background experiences.

Conclusion: Veterinary students naïve to laparoscopic surgery can learn the technical skills required to perform a simulated intracorporeal suture through repetitive, self-directed practice on a laparoscopic box trainer regardless of prior experiences (eg, videogame experience, craft experience, chopstick use, etc).