Hu WG, Feng JY, Wang J, Song YJ, Xu XT, Zhou H, Huang CB. Ureteroscopy and cystoscopy training: comparison between transparent and non-transparent simulators. BMC Med Educ. 2015 Jun 2;15:93

PMID: 26032174


Background: Simulators have been widely used to train operational skills in urology, how to improve its effectiveness deserves further investigation. In this paper, we evaluated training using a novel transparent anatomic simulator, an opaque model or no simulator training, with regard to post-training ureteroscopy and cystoscopy proficiency.

Methods: Anatomically correct transparent and non-transparent endourological simulators were fabricated. Ten experienced urologists provided a preliminary evaluation of the models as teaching tools. 36 first-year medical students underwent identical theoretical training and a 50-point examination of theoretical knowledge. The students were randomly assigned to receive training with the transparent simulator (Group 1), the non-transparent simulator (Group 2) or detailed verbal instruction only (Group 3). 12 days after the training session, the trainees' skills at ureteral stent insertion and removal were evaluated using the Uro-Scopic Trainer and rated on an Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) scale.

Results: The new simulators were successfully fabricated in accordance with the design parameters. Of the ten urologists invited to evaluate the devices, 100% rated the devices as anatomically accurate, 90% thought both models were easy to use and 80% thought they were good ureteroscopy and cystoscopy training tools. The scores on the theoretical knowledge test were comparable among the training groups, and all students were able to perform ureteral stent insertion and removal. The mean OSATS scores of groups 1, 2 and 3 were 21.83 ± 3.64, 18.50 ± 4.03 and 15.58 ± 2.23 points, respectively, (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Simulator training allowed students to achieve higher ureteroscopic and cystoscopic proficiency, and transparent simulators were more effective than non-transparent simulators.