American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation to offer Surgical Skills Simulation Training Grants -
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American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation to offer Surgical Skills Simulation Training Grants

The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) are partnering to advance simulation as a tool for training orthopaedic residents. ABOS is providing $300,000 for OREF to execute and administer 3-year grants that support a simulation research and development program to assess the skills of a resident in training prior to the Part 1 board exam.

The organizations say as the orthopaedic specialty advances, the need for a cost-effective method for residents to hone basic skills in a stress-free environment grows – and simulators give residents an environment where they can practice and improve their skills without the stress of potentially causing harm.

A recent study1 showed orthopaedic surgery interns’ and sub-interns’ written and skills test scores improved after completing a simulation module, but more research is needed to determine whether simulation could be used to assess orthopaedic residents’ performance prior to qualifying for their certifying exam.

“As we look to the future of surgical education we want to find ways for learners to acquire surgical skills safely, efficiently and cost efficiently,” said J. Lawrence Marsh, MD, Senior Director of ABOS. “In other occupations, such as the arts and professional sports, skills are practiced, but orthopaedic surgery residents, under supervision, perform surgery on actual patients without practicing first. Simulation training and labs would allow them a chance to practice.”

The goal of the grants is to support research that produces simulations of basic orthopaedic skills at the PGY 2-3 level that engage residents, are low tech and low cost so that they can be made widely available, have defined steps to obtain a set of benchmarks, and demonstrate that resident practice leading to benchmark skills would transfer to improved performance in the operating room.

OREF and ABOS are encouraging a variety of simulation projects that impact orthopaedic practice with a focus on:

  • Basic arthroscopic skills
  • Fluoroscopic skills
  • Fracture fixation skills
  • Three-dimensional visualization
  • Other skills basic to the practice of orthopaedic surgery

1. Butler, B. A., Lawton, C. D., Burgess, J., Balderama, E. S., Barsness, K. A., & Sarwark, J. F. (2017). Simulation-Based Educational Module Improves Intern and Medical Student Performance of Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pinning of Pediatric Supracondylar Humeral Fractures. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 99(23), E128. doi:10.2106/jbjs.17.00425

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