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Heart surgeons-in-training benefit from hands-on homework
Date:10/23/2011

expert observers who were not aware which of the doctors had done the extra take-home practice. Each received a score based on their surgical skill, technical ability, knowledge of the instruments, quality of the procedure, and the time it took to complete the surgery.

Those who had done the simulator training at home scored higher on all counts.

"The take-home message is that even in a highly specialized environment, deliberate practice has a significant impact on performance," says Dr. Lam. "The more surgeries you perform, the better you are at it. This is the future of cardiac surgery training."

"Canadians are in good hands with our highly skilled cardiac surgeons," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. "This simple training method is an exciting advance because it strengthens the safety net for the large number of people who have vascular surgery each year." Indeed, the leading cause of hospitalization in Canada continues to be heart disease and stroke, accounting for almost 17 per cent of total hospitalizations.

Dr. Abramson says that training, especially in cardiac surgery, requires a very long learning curve. "There are not enough patients for rapid training," she says. "Simulators like those used for pilot training replicate real-life scenarios and conditions in order for trainees to train in all conditions and build their training hours."

"We are producing good, confident surgeons," says Dr. Lam, adding that this extra training in micro-anastomosis can benefit doctors who are doing surgery on arteries elsewhere in the body.


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Contact: Amanda Bates
amanda@curvecommunications.com
604-306-0027
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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