A method of objectively evaluating improvements in laparoscopic skills
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Background: In this paper, we explored a quick and inexpensive method to evaluate the improvement in laparoscopic skills gained by residents after attending a formal training course in laparoscopy.
Methods: Surgical residents attending an endoscopic workshop were randomly selected to perform tasks in a training simulator. Each was evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively before and after the workshop. A control group of six residents who did not attend the workshop were selected to perform the same tasks twice in succession.
Results: The total mean time improvement for all tasks in the study group was 34.3% and in the control group 7.3% (p= 0.0001). When the data was separated for each task, statistically significant improvement was demonstrated in five of the six tasks.
Conclusions: Residents who attend a formal workshop in endoscopy can gain significant improvement in skills. The methods described in this study can be used to quantitatively measure this improvement throughout a resident's training.
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