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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

Purpose:

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.

Setting:

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

Methods:

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).

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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:

NONE

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