Development and testing of a robotic surgical training curriculum for novice surgeons

Sondra Summers*, Jennifer Anderson, Amy Petzel, Megan Tarr, Kimberly Kenton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A robotics practice curriculum was developed utilizing dry lab skills and testing parameters based upon the objective structured assessment of surgical tasks (OSATS) to determine its effectiveness in training novice surgeons. We recruited 20 medical students who were oriented to the DaVinci S console and instrumentation. They were pre-tested with four dry lab skills including manipulation, transection, suturing and knot tying. A control group was instructed to practice once weekly to attain proficiency and the intervention group was provided specific instructions regarding practice goals. Each subject was post-tested after a 6-week time. There were 17 students who completed the post-testing. All participants showed significant improvement in pre-test and post-test scores for manipulation (6.6–11.2, p < 0.0005), transection (3.5–6.9, p < 0.0005), knot tying (0.4–1.7, p = 0.003), and suturing (2.0–3.5, p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in pre-test and post-test scores between the control and intervention groups in manipulation, transection, knot tying, and suturing (p = 0.700, 0.782, 0.682, 0.605, respectively). Our study shows that novice surgeons such as medical students can improve dry lab robotics skills with instruction and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Medical student education
  • Resident education
  • Robotics training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics

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