Training robotic community surgeons: our experience implementing a robotics curriculum at a rural community general surgery training program.


Department of General Surgery, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI, USA. [Email]


Robotic-assisted surgical procedures are being increasingly used in general surgery, including in the rural and community setting. Although there is no requirement, general surgery residency programs have begun to incorporate curriculums to train residents in this discipline. As a small rural community program, we recently instituted a voluntary and structured curriculum, and our initial experience is shared here. Our curriculum was voluntary for all general surgical residents for the academic years 2016-2017. The curriculum consisted of online training, bedside training, console simulation, bedside assisting, and operating at the console. During the fiscal year of 2016, 193 robot-assisted surgeries performed within the General Surgery Department. Fourteen of fifteen residents participated in the curriculum, with the exception being a resident new to our program. A survey was sent to the residents to evaluate their opinions towards robotic surgery and the curriculum, with 12/15 residents responding. Overall, residents' impressions were very favorable, with all reporting being either very or mostly satisfied with the curriculum and most, 58.4%, reporting there participating level on the robot to be appropriate. Importantly most, 91.7% did not think that the curriculum put an undue stress on their time or that it was detrimental to other aspects of their training. This study shows that a community rural general surgery program can incorporate a voluntary robotic curriculum effectively with high resident participation and satisfaction.


General surgery,Residency,Robotics,Training,

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