Evolution of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Its Impact on Surgical Residency Training
- Adrian E . Park, Tommy H . Lee
BACKGROUND Technical skills have historically been developed and assessed in the operating room. Multiple pressures including resident work hour limitations, increasing costs of operating room time, and patient safety concerns have led to an increased interest in conducting these activities in a safe, reproducible environment. To address some of these issues, many residency programs have developed laparoscopic surgical skills training laboratories. We sought to determine the current status of laparoscopic skills laboratories across residency programs. METHODS In December 2004, surveys were mailed to all 251 United States general surgery residency program directors. This brief 2-page survey consists of 9 questions regarding laparoscopic skills training laboratories. RESULTS Of the 251 mailed surveys, 111 completed surveys were returned (44%). Of the respondents, 81 have laparoscopic skills training laboratories in place (80%). Skills laboratories that used a defined curriculum, and general surgery programs that shared their laboratories with other training programs were determined to have significantly more resources. A wide variety of funding sources have been used to develop and support these skills laboratories. CONCLUSIONS Significant variability in training practices and equipment currently used exists between laboratories. A more efficient, standardized approach to skills training across residency programs is a desirable goal for the immediate future.