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Residents & Young Ophthalmologists

Basic skills training on vitreoretinal simulator may not be needed

Posted on October 6, 2021

Pretraining of basic skills in virtual vitreoretinal surgery did not lead to a positive skill transfer to the procedure-specific modules in time, starting score or amplitude of plateau, according to a study.

“We recommend that aspiring vitreoretinal surgeons proceed directly to simulation-based training of procedures instead of spending valuable training time on basic skills training,” the authors wrote.

In this prospective, randomized, controlled study, 68 medical students were equally randomized into 2 groups. Group 1 was pretrained on basic psycho-motor skills until they reached their performance curve plateau, defined as 3 consecutive sessions with the same score with an acceptable variation. After, Group 1 and Group 2 were trained on the procedure-specific modules until they reached their performance curve plateau.

It took a median time of 88 minutes for participants in Group 1 to reach plateau in the pretraining. However, their time to reach plateau did not differ from Group 2 on the procedure-specific modules (183 min vs 210 min), despite a significantly different starting score of internal limiting membrane peeling level 3 (0 vs 3.5, P = 0.03).

Petersen SB, Vestergaard AH, Thomsen ASS, et al. Pretraining of basic skills on a virtual reality vitreoretinal simulator: A waste of time. Acta Ophthalmol. 2021;doi: 10.1111/aos.15039. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34609052.