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J Surg Educ. 2015 May-Jun;72(3):542-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2014.10.007. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

You have a message! Social networking as a motivator for FLS training.

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Department of Surgery, Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address:
Department of Surgery, Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Québec, Canada.



Despite evidence supporting the value of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) curriculum, surgical educators still find it challenging to motivate residents to practice. Wiggio is an online networking and collaboration tool that allows learners to track performance, see what their peers are doing, and send and receive updates. The purpose of this study was to assess whether using Wiggio increases practice and improves performance of the FLS manual skills.


After baseline FLS testing, residents were randomized into control (C) and Wiggio (W) groups. The practice events, time spent practicing, and best scores were recorded. Residents in the W group interacted with each other via the Wiggio website. The website moderator sent motivational messages, calendar reminders, and FLS-related articles. The best times and progress graphs for each resident were also posted online. After 4 weeks, all residents underwent final FLS testing and filled out a questionnaire.


The study was performed in a tertiary care center, at the Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Montreal General Hospital.


Postgraduate year-1 and postgraduate year-2 general surgery residents with no or minimal FLS simulator experience were included.


Of the 15 eligible residents, 14 participated, with 7 residents in each group. The FLS scores were similar at baseline (C = 56.9 [±14.2], W = 57. 6 [±14.7]; p = 0.93). During the study period, twice as many residents in the W group practiced compared with those in the C group (4 vs 2); W-group residents reported more practice events than the C-group residents did (14 vs 4) and spent more time practicing in the laboratory (1035 vs 480 minutes). These results did not reach statistical significance. During practice sessions, proficiency scores were achieved for 40% of the tasks in the W group compared with 8.6% in the C group; however, this difference was also not significant. There was no difference in the FLS scores in both groups at the end of the study. The moderator spent an average of 6.5 minutes per day sending messages and managing the Wiggio website.


Participation in Wiggio seems to increase practice events and time spent training on FLS. Social networking may play a role in surgical education and learner motivation; however, the optimal use of Web 2.0 tools in resident education is not yet fully understood.


Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Medical Knowledge; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Web 2.0; education; laparoscopy; motivation; surgery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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