Trainees' surgical activity and opportunity to transfer after simulation-based training

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Introduction: Simulation-based surgical training (SBST) is predicated on the assumption that trainees transfer their acquired skills and competencies into the operating room. Research on transfer of surgical training has focused on trainees’ performance improvements and not on their actual opportunity to transfer their trained skills. Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted using data on surgical procedures performed by first-year trainees in abdominal surgery, gynaecology and urology in the Central Denmark Region. We included data on trainees who participated in two different SBST courses; open surgery and laparoscopic surgery from 2014 to 2018. Results: Data on a total of 127 first-year trainees were included. Our results revealed considerable variation in the number of procedures performed by first-year trainees in the three specialities. Comparing surgical activity after and before the SBST courses, we found median differences between 0 and 3, indicating no consistent increases in trainees’ surgical activity in the post-course periods (five out of six comparisons were insignificant (p > 0.05)). Conclusions: Trainees’ surgical exposure varies within specialities and this may have consequences for achieving uniform levels of competence among trained specialists. Our results suggest that trainees do not have timely opportunities to intensify their clinical surgical activities after participating in SBST courses. A delay in opportunities to perform may inhibit the trainees’ use of acquired skills and competencies and hamper transfer of training.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA05200306
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume67
Issue11
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
ISSN2245-1919
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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