Low confidence levels with the robotic platform among senior surgical residents: simulation training is needed

  • Francisco Schlottmann
  • Jason M. Long
  • Sean Brown
  • Marco G. Patti
Brief Communication


Acquisition of robotic surgical skills by surgical residents is usually hindered by time pressure and financial imperatives. Robotic simulation training offers an attractive solution because it allows residents to learn in a safe, controlled, and standardized environment. We aimed to determine the confidence levels of senior surgical residents with the robotic platform, and how those levels were affected by simulation training. Twenty senior residents participated in a simulation course using perfused porcine tissue blocks to perform the following robotic procedures: Nissen fundoplication, Heller myotomy, sleeve gastrectomy, colectomy, and lobectomy. Procedural steps evaluated included port placements, docking process, suturing, using energy devices, and using staplers. Mean baseline confidence levels were low for all the surgical steps analyzed, and all these values significantly increased after the 3-day robotic training in the simulation center. A standardized formal robotic simulation program with realistic hands-on training should be incorporated in the general surgery residency curriculum.


Robotic surgery Residents Training Simulation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Francisco Schlottmann, Jason M. Long, Sean Brown, and Marco G. Patti declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Statement of human and animal rights

This study does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Hospital Alemán of Buenos AiresUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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