Training the next generation of robotic surgeons using guided mentorship: a randomized controlled trial.

Academic Article


  • STUDY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of expert guided mentorship on technical score and time for a set of robotic training drills. DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial (Canadian Task Force classification I). SETTING: Academic institution. SUBJECTS: Fifty trainees in robotic surgery. INTERVENTION: Inexperienced trainees underwent either a 20-minute expert guided mentorship session or no intervention. The primary outcomes were technical score and time-to-drill completion for a set of dry lab robotic training drills evaluated at an initial and final skills assessment. The t-test, including paired analyses, was used to evaluate outcomes. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Forty-nine of 50 trainees (98%) completed the study. There were no significant differences in participant characteristics or initial performance between the 2 groups. During the final skills assessment, the intervention group demonstrated significantly better performance on 1 of 8 objective measures. They had a higher mean score for the bead transfer drill when compared with the control group (21.6 vs 19.9; p = .03). No differences in time-to-drill completion were noted between the 2 groups. Regardless of randomization, all participants had significantly improved scores for each of the drills on the final compared with the initial skills assessment (p < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Although expert guided mentorship in a dry lab simulation environment seems feasible, further investigation is warranted before its widespread use because it may be more resource intensive than other teaching methods, without consistent objective improvements in technical performance.
  • Authors


  • Guided mentorship, Robotic training, Surgical education, Adult, Clinical Competence, Education, Medical, Female, Humans, Internship and Residency, Male, Mentors, Prospective Studies, Robotic Surgical Procedures, Students, Medical, Surgeons, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liang MI; McCann GA; Rath KS; Backes FJ; Cansino C; Salani R
  • Start Page

  • 1075
  • End Page

  • 1079
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 6