Langebæk R, Toft N, Eriksen T. The SimSpay-Student Perceptions of a Low-Cost Build-It-Yourself Model for Novice Training of Surgical Skills in Canine Ovariohysterectomy. J Vet Med Educ. 2015 Summer;42(2):166-71. doi: 10.3138/jvme.1014-105. Epub 2015 May 7.

PMID: 25862402


Practical and ethical considerations have led to an increased use of artificial substitutes for live animals in veterinary surgical skills training. However, commercially produced models are expensive and homemade models often require full-time staff to produce enough models for training large groups of students. In the Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences of the University of Copenhagen, a low-cost build-it-yourself model, the SimSpay, was developed for novice training of surgical skills in canine ovariohysterectomy. The model did not require the use of trained technical staff or costly, hard-to-source supplies. The SimSpay was developed and implemented in the clinical veterinary curriculum in 2013. In 2014, 54 students participated in a questionnaire study to investigate their perception of the usefulness of the SimSpay as a learning tool. On a five-point Likert-type scale, students were asked to rate their perceived levels of competence, confidence, and anatomic knowledge before and after SimSpay training. Results demonstrate a strongly significant (p<.0001) increase in all three areas after training on the SimSpay. By increasing students' perceived levels of competence, confidence, and anatomic knowledge, the low-fidelity SimSpay is a useful, low-cost learning tool for teaching ovariohysterectomy.