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Young gamers offer insight to teaching new physicians robotic surgery
Date:11/15/2012

What can high school and college-age video game enthusiasts teach young surgeons-in-training?

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) a world leader in minimally invasive and robotic surgery the superior hand-eye coordination and hand skills gained from hours of repetitive joystick maneuvers mimic the abilities needed to perform today's most technologically-advanced robotic surgeries.

To offer insight on how best to train future surgeons, the study placed high school and college students head to head with resident physicians in robotic surgery simulations. The results, presented at the American Gynecologic Laparoscopists' 41st Annual Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Las Vegas, were surprising.

Both high school sophomores who played video games on average two hours per day and college students who played four hours of video games daily matched, and in some cases exceeded, the skills of the residents on parameters that included how much tension the subjects put on their instruments, how precise their hand-eye coordination was and how steady their grasping skills were when performing surgical tasks suck as suturing, passing a needle or lifting surgical instruments with the robotic arms.

"The inspiration for this study first developed when I saw my son, an avid video game player, take the reins of a robotic surgery simulator at a medical convention," said Dr. Sami Kilic, lead author of the study and associate professor and director of minimally invasive gynecology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UTMB. "With no formal training, he was immediately at ease with the technology and the type of movements required to operate the robot."

Specifically, the UTMB study measured participants' competency on more than 20 different skill parameters and 32 different teaching steps on the robotic surgery simulator a training to
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Contact: Olivia Goodman
olivia.goodman@gabbe.com
732-277-5625
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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