Attitudes of Robotic Surgery Educators and Learners: Challenges, Advantages, Tips and Tricks of Teaching and Learning Robotic Surgery

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As the application of robotic surgical technology grows, so does the need to instruct surgical residents in robotic techniques. To better understand the challenges and benefits unique to robotic surgery education, this study explored the attitudes of teachers and learners. A 43-item questionnaire was developed with five domains: challenges and benefits of robotic education, training methodologies, trainees’ readiness for learning, and education tips. This was delivered to surgeons and surgical fellows at a high-volume surgical department. 31 surgeons and 25 fellows from 7 specialties responded (response rate 70% and 43%). The teaching and learning of robotic surgery were perceived as superior to traditional minimally invasive surgery by both surgeons (in 7/9 factors studied) and fellows (7/9), but was seen as mostly disadvantageous compared to open surgery by both surgeons (in 6/9 factors studied) and fellows (8/9). Surgeons frequently stated the greatest challenge to teaching robotics was the need to relinquish total control to the trainee. Robotic surgery education is generally well received and offers several advantages. However, teaching robotic surgery presents unique challenges, especially when compared to open surgery. Understanding the benefits of, and barriers to, robotic surgery education may help develop more effective training paradigms that are responsive to educational needs while maintaining patient safety.


This article was published in Journal of Robotic Surgery.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11701-019-01013-1.

Copyright © 2019 Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature

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Journal of Robotic Surgery

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