Objective: To assess the utilization of a novel virtual reality robotic surgical simulator (RoSS) in surgical anatomy training and pattern recognition. Study Design: Ten surgical trainees (medical students and residents) were recruited to participate in a study that evaluated the efficacy of a robotic simulator in anatomy training. The subjects were divided into two groups of five individuals each. Each participant received a syllabus consisting of line diagrams and color pictures of the human anatomy. All participants were later tested on identifying the same five anatomical landmarks from photographs from actual laparoscopic procedures. Group I studied the syllabus and took the test. Group II similarly studied the syllabus, but were trained on the RoSS system using cognitive skill sets and then took the same test. Group II were asked to complete a posttest survey. Results: Mean time to complete the test was 142.8 seconds for group I and 118.4 seconds for group II. Mean number of errors committed by the group trained on RoSS was 0.4 out of 5, whereas the group that did not undergo training on RoSS committed 1.7 out of 5. The mean number of correct answers given by group I was 2.9 out of 5, whereas group II answered 4.2 out 5 correctly. All results were statistically significant. The subjects rated the anatomy module helpful, with a mean rating of 3.6 out of 5. Conclusions: RoSS is an effective tool in anatomy training. Further testing is underway to illustrate its important role in medical education and robotic surgical training.
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