BJUI Mini Reviews - Surgical simulators in urological training – views of UK training programme directors

BERKELEY, CA ( - Surgical simulators are in common use in many branches of surgical training, and have been incorporated into some specialties' training programmes, such as The National Laparoscopic Colo-Rectal Programme in England.[1]

bjui 110 6 coverA recent randomised control trial compared the effects of laparoscopic simulator training to standard clinical training on gynaecology registrars’ technical performance of laparoscopic salpingectomy.[2] That study found that those who underwent the simulator-training programme were rated as having higher technical proficiency, and took half the time to do the actual operation, than those in the control group.[2] In urology, there were >100 publications on a MEDLINE search for ‘urology simulators,’ and the subject has been debated in detail, including a dedicated Key Session at the BAUS meeting 2011, but surgical simulators are not incorporated into urological training. Obstacles that are likely to be encountered in the introduction of simulators into the UK urology training programme include funding the equipment, and selecting and retaining suitable faculty. ..View or save the full text Mini Review as a .pdf file

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?
The role of surgical simulators is currently being debated in urological and other surgical specialties. Simulators are not presently implemented in the UK urology training curriculum. The availability of simulators and the opinions of Training Programme Directors (TPD) on their role have not been described.
In the present questionnaire-based survey, the trainees of most, but not all, UK TPDs had access to laparoscopic simulators, and that all responding TPDs thought that simulators improved laparoscopic training. We hope that the present study will be a positive step towards making an agreement to formally introduce simulators into the UK urology training curriculum.



 James A. Forster, Anthony J. Browning, Alan B. Paul* and C. Shekhar Biyani

Department of Urology, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Pinderfi elds Hospital, Wakefield, and *Pyrah Department of Urology, St. James University Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK


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