BACKGROUND: Surgical skills and simulation courses are emerging to meet the demand for vascular simulation training for vascular surgical skills, but their educational effect has not yet been described. We sought to determine the effect of an intensive vascular surgical skills and simulation course on the procedural knowledge and self-rated procedural competence of vascular trainees and to assess participant feedback regarding the course.
METHODS: Participants underwent a 1.5-day course covering open and endovascular procedures on high-fidelity simulators and cadavers. Before and after the course, participants completed a written test that assessed procedural knowledge concerning index open vascular and endovascular procedures. Participants also assessed their own procedural competence in open and endovascular procedures on a 5-point Likert scale (1: no ability to perform, 5: performs independently). Scores before and after the course were compared among postgraduate year (PGY) 1-2 and PGY 3-7 trainees. Participants completed a survey to rate the relevance and realism of open and endovascular simulations.
RESULTS: Fifty-eight vascular integrated residents and vascular fellows (PGY 1-7) completed the course and all assessments. After course participation, procedural knowledge scores were significantly improved among PGY 1-2 residents (50% correct before vs 59% after; P < .0001) and PGY 3-7 residents (52% correct before vs 63% after; P = .003). Self-rated procedural competence was significantly improved among PGY 1-2 (2.2 +/- 0.1 before vs 3.1 +/- 0.1 after; P < .0001) and PGY 3-7 (3.0 +/- 0.1 before vs 3.7 +/- 0.1 after; P < /= .0001). Self-rated procedural competence significantly improved for both endovascular (2.4 +/- 0.1 before vs 3.3 +/- 0.1 after; P < .0001) and open procedures (2.7 +/- 0.1 before vs 3.5 +/- 0.1 after; P < .0001). More than 93% of participants reported they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the relevance and realism of the open and endovascular simulations. All participants reported they would recommend the course to other trainees.
CONCLUSIONS: This intensive vascular surgical skills and simulation course improved procedural knowledge concerning index open vascular and endovascular procedures among PGY 1-2 and PGY 3-7 trainees. The course also improved self-rated procedural competence across all levels of training for open and endovascular procedures. Trainees rated the value of a surgical skills and simulation course highly. These results support strong consideration for the implementation of similar intensive simulation and surgical skills courses with ongoing objective assessment of their educational effect.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andres_schanzer/122/