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Early exposure to microsurgical skills through a bespoke teaching programme using virtual reality ophthalmic surgical simulator (Eyesi™ by VRmagic) prior to the start of ophthalmology specialty training (OST)

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Session Details

Session Title: Training and Innovation

Session Date/Time: Tuesday 10/10/2017 | 16:30-18:00

Paper Time: 16:42

Venue: Room 4.4

First Author: : Y.Neo UK

Co Author(s): :    S. Gillan                    

Abstract Details


EyesiTM is a high-end virtual reality simulator for intraocular surgical training and its validity as a learning tool among trainees is well validated. Microsurgical skills are perceived as highly specialised skills-set and junior trainees are often faced with a steep learning curve. Evidence to support benefits of early exposure to microsurgical skills among learners who are not yet in OST e.g. medical students and house-officers is scarce. A trainee-led basic microsurgical skills teaching programme targeting senior medical students and house-officers was therefore designed and implemented. We aim to investigate the learning experience, feasibility and outcomes of the teaching programme.


Ninewells Hospital and Dundee Medical School, East of Scotland, United Kingdom


Sixty-four learners between 2015-2016 were included prospectively. Six modules designed to cover the essential basic fine motor skills were delivered through EyesiTM simulator. Learners underwent one-to-one induction followed by milestones guided, self-directed, learning sessions. Verified surgical trainees (OST or non-OST) were recruited as trainers who provide mandatory guided session at each milestone. Scores were recorded and stored automatically at the simulator. Mean difference in scores pre- and post-teaching programme were compared using paired t-test. Feedback was collected at the concluding guided session. Results were analysed using the modified Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model (Reactions, Learning, Behaviour, Results, Return on investment).


Different domains of learning experience (Content, Structure, Teaching, Hands-on-experience and Overall impact) consistently rated above 4-over-5. Mean improvement in computerised assessment scores was statistically significant (P<0.001). 82% learners completed ≥5 60-minutes sessions. 95% felt empowered in considering a surgically related career. 32 of 45 (71%) succeeded in their first post house-officer application to OST and other surgical subspecialties. There is a positive shift in learning culture for basic microsurgical skills as reflected in on-going qualitative survey and national training survey. 25% increment in sign-up rate was observed after one year. Cost of running was recorded as less than €200/year.


Early exposure to microsurgical skills learning using EyesiTM virtual simulator among senior medical students and house officers is well received, pragmatic and feasible. Teaching programme targeting pre-specialty training stage of learners can help prepare them for the steep technical learning curve at no excessive cost.

Financial Disclosure:


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