Study: Using simulators makes surgeons quicker, better

A new Danish study concludes that using simulators to train new surgeons makes them quicker at performing procedures, yet better at what they do.

The study, which focused on whether doctors with Britain's National Health Service should be trained this way, responds to calls from observers there that simulators should be part of surgical training.

Researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital concluded that it would indeed be a good idea after monitoring 24 junior surgeons carrying out keyhole surgery. Researchers broke the 24 trainees into two groups; one received traditional training alongside of senior physicians while the other received seven hours of simulator training in addition to standard instruction.

The researchers concluded that that those who used computer simulators were twice as quick as traditionally trained surgeons, taking just 12 minutes to complete their operation. They also used better procedures, according to a points system researchers used to judge work quality.

To learn more about the research:
- read this BBC piece
- view a video on training surgeons here