Professor Oscar Traynor, Director of the National Surgical Training Centre, RCSI delivered a fascinating presentation recently on ‘The Pathway to Competence in Operative Surgery’in which he discussed how training has been improved in Ireland.

Ireland are leading the way when it comes to addressing some of the challenges associated with reduced surgical training opportunities due to EWTD regulations.

RCSI have been refining simulation since 2003 including rolling out surgical ‘bootcamps’ for all core surgical trainees, something that is still not commonplace in all LETBs in the UK.

As standard, The RCSI deliver an intensive 5 day surgical boot camp for all core surgical trainees in their first week, followed by 6 full days per year in the lab as part of their operative surgical skills course.

In Ireland simulation is firmly embedded in the curriculum. This includes cadaver workshops and hands-on simulator practice with a mix of technical and non-technical skills. There are clearly defined outcomes and assessments throughout.

Trainees can use the ‘mSurgery’ app to book classes, view content and learn steps to a procedure via short videos.

At the start of training every trainee is given a ‘suture kit’ and a ‘laparoscopic take home kit’ produced by company ‘eoSurgical’. This is essentially a simulator box with instruments and camera which can be connected to a television. Trainees are expected to use it in their free time and their progress is monitored.

The RCSI is also in the process of producing ‘serious games’ utilising the technology of the Nintendo Wii to make laparoscopy practice more accessible.

They have also embraced the move to virtual reality and have already produced a module called ‘VR ER’ where a Samsung prototype is used to recreate an incredibly lifelike trauma call scenario.

The Irish have shown that training can be standardized across the country and basic surgical skills can successfully be acquired in the skills lab before stepping into a theatre

What’s more, all of this is provided to Irish trainees completely free of charge.

 

Oli Shastri

BOTA Junior Rep