Simulation Based Training in Basic Surgical Skills: Experiences from a Repeat Cross-Sectional Study in Saudi Arabia
Author(s): Almarhabi Yahya*
Introduction: The conventional surgical apprenticeship has been challenged by patient safety concerns, cost of lengthy operation, and surgical complications. Simulation-based training (SBT) has emerged as a realistic option for surgical skills acquisition outside the operating room (OR). The study aimed to document our experience in implementing SBT to acquire basic surgical skills, offered as an educational course, known as the Basic Surgery Skill Course (BSSC). Methods: This was a repeated cross-sectional study conducted between January 2017 and December 2019 at King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH) in Saudi Arabia, including all participants who participated during BSSCs. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect data on age, sex, training level, institution, overall experience, course overload, course duration, best feature of the course, and whether participants would recommend the course to their colleagues. Whenever possible, self-reported data were compared with registration records, and any conflict was resolved by discussion. Results: BSSC was found in a total of 489 participants. More than 58% of the participants were men. Majority of students came from out of KAUH (61%) and were medical interns (63%). Overall experience of the course was very beneficial (57%). The course workload and duration were rated as about right by 82% and 75% of participants, respectively. Majority of participants found the “hands-on practice” as the best segment of the course (76%). Conclusion: The study showed a positive perception of this surgical education modality among participants. This study will help guide the future research on advanced simulation-based surgical training in the region.