The modern concept of surgical simulation came into light only in the late 1980s. In spite of glowing predictions of growth and acceptance from the very beginning, it has been a long and tedious journey. We are at a crossroads where vision, interest, and funding are coming together to move the field forward. It is critical to review and understand the travails of the last 30 plus years to learn from the experience of those that led the charge and build upon it to accelerate growth in this field. The field started with support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with funding and the question: If we can simulate flying a plane, why can we not simulate and better prepare for surgery? Almost 20 years later, the biggest push and support for advancing the field are again from the DOD through the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC). The DoD is fostering research by attaching funding opportunities to core challenges and key questions that need to be addressed to increase fidelity, enable interoperability, and remove barriers to implementation. Now, more than ever, the collaboration between academia, professional societies, and government is laying the groundwork for industry to bring training products in line with the training requirements.
KeywordsSimulation Virtual reality Human patient simulation Surgical education Surgical simulation DARPA TATRC History Objective assessment
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