The traditional trajectory of surgical learning follows the “see one, do one, teach one,” paradigm. Under that model, novice surgeons learn by observing, assisting with and eventually performing operations of increasing complexity under the supervision of senior surgeons. Yet, even with close supervision and watchful guidance, the risk for patient harm remains real when the surgeon performing the repair is still in the learning phase.
In addition, certain conditions are so complex and so rare that mastering a repair technique can take years. Some congenital anomalies, for example, are encountered so infrequently that many pediatric surgeons don’t have an opportunity to observe, participate and perform one, let alone become experts in treating it.
Simulation training can help take the risk for patient harm out of the equation. It can also provide surgical training models of complex and rare conditions so that new surgeons can try their hands repeatedly at repairing them.
Lurie Children’s Surgical Simulation Training Program, led by Katherine Barsness, MD, MS, is dedicated to helping pediatric surgeons cross over from “good” into “great” territory.