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Comput Aided Surg. 1998;3(1):20-6.

Virtual reality versus conventional training in retinal photocoagulation: a first clinical assessment.

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  • 1Clinique Ophtalmologique, Hôpital Huriez, CH&U de Lille, France.


Virtual reality can provide a new method for apprenticeship in surgery. We have developed a training simulator for retinal photocoagulation. This paper describes a comparison between this new training tool and the conventional teaching method. Residents were divided into two groups, each group being trained exclusively with one of the methods. A final evaluation was made by a single expert, who did not know which training mode the residents had undergone. The results show that this new training mode is at least as efficient as the current one and may reduce training duration. While experts remain in control of the contents of training and assessment of skill, this study outlines new prospects for apprenticeship and evaluation in the field of medicosurgical techniques. In addition, this preliminary study emphasizes the difficulties in introducing a new modality in a traditional teaching environment.

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