IMPACT OF A SIMULATED LAPAROSCOPIC TRAINING PROGRAM IN A THREE-YEAR GENERAL SURGERY RESIDENCY

ABSTRACT Background: A General Surgery Residency may last between 2-6 years, depending on the country. A shorter General Surgery Residency must optimize residents’ surgical exposure. Simulated surgical training is known to shorten the learning curves, but information related to how it affects a General Surgery Residency regarding clinical exposure is scarce. Aim: To analyze the effect of introducing a validated laparoscopic simulated training program in abdominal procedures performed by residents in a three-year General Surgery Residency program. Methods: A non-concurrent cohort study was designed. Four-generations (2012-2015) of graduated surgeons were included. Only abdominal procedures in which the graduated surgeons were the primary surgeon were described and analyzed. The control group was of graduated surgeons from 2012 without the laparoscopic simulated training program. Surgical procedures per program year, surgical technique, emergency/elective intervention and hospital-site (main/community hospitals) were described. Results: Interventions of 28 graduated surgeons were analyzed (control group=5; laparoscopic simulated training program=23). Graduated surgeons performed a mean of 372 abdominal procedures, with a higher mean number of medium-to-complex procedures in laparoscopic simulated training program group (48 vs. 30, p=0.02). Graduated surgeons trained with laparoscopic simulated training program performed a higher number of total abdominal procedures (384 vs. 319, p=0.04) and laparoscopic procedures (183 vs. 148, p<0.05). Conclusions: The introduction of laparoscopic simulated training program may increase the number and complexity of total and laparoscopic procedures in a three-year General Surgery Residency.