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J Urol. 2007 Jan;177(1):288-91.

The current role of medical simulation in american urological residency training programs: an assessment by program directors.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.



Although medical simulation opportunities are increasingly available, resident training to date has involved primarily hands-on, subjective assessments. The role of simulation and computer based training for urology residents remains unknown. We evaluated the current status of medical simulation among urological training programs in the United States.


An anonymous questionnaire was developed and mailed to the program director at the 119 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited United States urology training programs, and consisted of 17 questions documenting the prior experience of the responder to medical simulation as well as the current status of simulation at their institution. An additional 14 questions sought the responders' opinion of medical simulation in urology training programs.


The questionnaire was returned by 41 program directors (35%). Among respondents, access to a laparoscopy simulator was 76%. In comparison, reported access to cystoscopy, ureteroscopy, transurethral resection and percutaneous access simulators was 16%, 21%, 8% and 12%, respectively. Respondents indicated that these simulators were good educational tools, realistic and easy to use. Unanimous agreement was reported for simulation training in residency and that simulators allow practice in a controlled environment. Disagreement was reported about the cost effectiveness, validity and ability of simulators to replace hands-on instruction in the operating room.


Among responders a high level of access to laparoscopic simulators for urology residents is coupled with low levels of access to other endoscopic trainers. Urology residency program directors unanimously recognize a role for simulation training in residency, although the extent to which they may be incorporated remains to be resolved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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