As available operating time has decreased, and patient safety concerns have increased, we can no longer expect residents, surgeons and trainees to acquire surgical skills in the operating room.

A clear shift towards increased and enhanced training is evident.

trainingWith the Fundamentals in Laparoscopic Surgery, General Surgery made basic skills training mandatory. This is the direction other surgical specialties are likely headed where trainees must demonstrate technical competence to progress to the next level of training and gain certification and recertification ultimately ensuring better and faster technical skill acquisition as well as improved quality of care and patient safety (Lodge, Grantcharov, 2010).

New national curriculum in the United States recently developed through a collaboration of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) and the American Board of Surgery (ABS), dictates Phase I (basis skills) and Phase II (Procedures: Arterial Anastomosis and Vascular Anastomosis) skills training for PG1 general surgery residents. They also recommend deliberate practice in a distributed mode for the successful acquisition and retention of these basic surgical skills.

"Practice Makes Better"

In Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling book "Outliers: The Story of Success", he concludes that "practice does make better". Doing something repetitively does in fact lead to improved performance.

This theory is being put into action in hundreds of surgical skills centres and training hospitals around the world.

Teaching surgical skills has become increasingly popular (Moulton, Dubrowski,, 2006) and while bench models will never replace training in the operating theater, they serve as an important adjunct that allows trainees to acquire basics skills, improve their performance and overcome learning curves without an adverse affect to patients (Satava RM, 2005).

Growing research and validation is showing that the acquisition of basic technical skills requires sustained deliberate practice and that in order for skills to be maintained, they must be reinforced by regular repetition and distributed learning (Ericsson KA, 2004, Kneebone R, 2005, Sinha P, 2008 and Mitchell E, 2010).

Once the residents have mastered basic surgical skills, teachable moments can be maximized in the OR or during live training.

Fidelity Matters

But not just any practice will work. Research shows that the quality of the model matters.

Growing evidence is now confirming that residents who train and practice on high fidelity models do significantly better when tested on a live pig lab versus those who practice on low fidelity penrose drains.

The acquisition of skills was significantly affected by model fidelity and it was concluded that for vascular anastomosis, it is important to provide appropriate fidelity for trainees of different abilities to optimize the effectiveness of bench models (Sidhu, Park, Bridges, MacRae and Dubrowski, 2007).

Solution - LifeLike BioTissue Growing Line of High Fidelity Models

LifeLike BioTissue Inc. was created to provide affordable high fidelity, high quality surgical training models to increase training, increase practice and help improve patient care worldwide.

Learn why LifeLike BioTissue's high fidelity products are being used by leading training hospitals to help residents and surgeons learn and develop basic surgical skills affordably, easily and conveniently.