Previous research has shown that more experienced surgeons have improved economy of motion and this has proven construct validity. This means that surgical proficiency is related to the directedness and focus of the surgeon’s handling of the instruments while performing a task.
Researchers at the University of Washington have used a commercially available, cost-effective electromagnetic position sensing mechanism to objectively measure and quantify trajectory metrics. They applied this to intra-operative assessment of novice (n = 5) and experienced (n = 5) robotic surgeons during performance of basic surgical skill tasks using the robotic interface. They found that the experienced surgeons outperformed the novice surgeons in all the tasks. The experts considered this method to be a useful tool for assessing resident proficiency during the training in robotic surgery. This concept could conceivably play a role in resident assessment for all types of surgical performance if further validation studies confirm these initial observations.
Presented by Timothy Tausch, et al. at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting - May 14 - 19, 2011 - Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC USA
Reported for UroToday by Elspeth M. McDougall, MD, FRCSC, Professor of Urology/Director, Surgical Education Institute at the University of California, Irvine.