Journal of Robotic Surgery

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 435–447 | Cite as

The value of a 1-day multidisciplinary robot surgery training for novice robot surgeons

  • Alexander. J. W. BeulensEmail author
  • Willem M. Brinkman
  • Petra J. Porte
  • Richard P. Meijer
  • Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer
  • Henk G. Van der Poel
  • Cordula Wagner
Original Article



To fulfil the need for a basic level of competence in robotic surgery (Brinkman et al., Surg Endosc Other Interv Tech 31(1):281–287, 2017; Dutch Health inspectorate (Inspectie voor de gezondheidszorg), Insufficient carefulness at the introduction of surgical robots (in Dutch: Onvoldoende zorgvuldigheid bij introductie van operatierobots), Igz, Utrecht, 2010), the NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Healthcare Research) developed the ‘Basic proficiency requirements for the safe use of robotic surgery’ (BPR). Based on the BPR a 1-day robotic surgery training was organised to answer the following research questions: (1) Are novice robot surgeons able to accurately self-assess their knowledge and dexterity skills? (2) Is it possible to include the teaching of all BPRs in a 1-day training?

Materials and methods

Based on the BPR, a robot surgery course was developed for residents and specialists (surgery, gynaecology and urology). In preparation, the participants completed an online e-module. The 1-day training consisted of a practical part on robot set-up, a theoretical section, and hands-on exercises on virtual reality robot simulators. Multiple online questionnaire was filled out by the participants at the end of the training to evaluate the perceived educational value of the course and to self-assess the degree to which BPRs were reached.


20 participants completed the training during the conference of the Dutch Association for Endoscopic Surgery (NVEC) in 2017. Participants indicated nearly all competency requirements were mastered at the end of the training. The competency requirements not mastered were, however, critical requirements for the safe use of the surgical robot. Skill simulation results show a majority of participants are unable to reach a proficient simulation score in basic skill simulation exercises.


Results show novice robot surgeons are too positive in the self-assessment of their own dexterity skills after a 1-day training. Self-assessment revealed uncertainty of the obtained knowledge level on requirements for the safe use of the surgical robot. Basic courses on robotic training should inform trainees about their results to enhance learning and inform them of their competence levels.


Training Robot surgery Robot simulation Novice Skill assessment 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Drs. Beulens, Dr. Brinkman, Dr. Meijer, Dr. van Merrienboer, Dr. van der Poel, and Dr. Wagner have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose. Dr. Porte reports grants from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, during the conduct of the study.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander. J. W. Beulens
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Willem M. Brinkman
    • 3
  • Petra J. Porte
    • 1
    • 7
  • Richard P. Meijer
    • 4
  • Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer
    • 5
  • Henk G. Van der Poel
    • 6
  • Cordula Wagner
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL)UtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of UrologyCatharina HospitalEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of UrologyErasmus Medical CentreRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Oncological UrologyUniversity Medical Centre UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.School of Health Professions EducationMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of UrologyDutch Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, VU Medical CentreAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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