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

ol that resembles a video game booth complete with dual-hand-operated controllers a video monitor that displays real-time surgical movements. As a whole, the nine tenth graders participating in the study performed the best, followed by nine students from Texas A&M University and lastly the 11 UTMB residents; the mean age of each group was 16, 21 and 31 respectively.

For further comparison, the groups were tested in a simulation of a non-robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. In this scenario, when presented with a complicated surgical technique that does not rely on the visual-spatial coordination present in robotic surgery, the resident physicians scored far higher than the high school gamers.

Kilic notes these observations point to a need for surgical training to adapt to future generations of doctors who will arrive at medical school with an affinity for emerging surgical techniques. "Most physicians in practice today never learned robotic surgery in medical school," said Kilic. "However, as we see students with enhanced visual-spatial experience and hand-eye coordination that are a result of the technologically-savvy world they are immersed in, we should rethink how best to teach this generation."

Since the best results were seen in students who played video games up to two hours daily and not those who played four hours daily, this could indicate the optimal time needed for medical residents to gain these skills according to Kilic.

The high-tech simulators used in this study are a staple of the UTMB training program for performing minimally invasive robotic surgery. The institution is among a handful of academic medical centers that are establishing standardized programs aimed at training both medical students and practicing physicians in how to use robotic surgical tools and techniques most effectively.

Through its minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery area of excellence, UTMB trains 32 residents and nu
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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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