Evaluation of Physical versus Virtual Surgical Training Simulators

S. l. Waxberg, K. h. Goodell, D. v. Avgerinos, S. d. Schwaitzberg, C G L Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


With the recent attention on patient safety, there is an increased interest in standardized training for laparoscopic surgeons. Studies have shown that laparoscopic simulators can be used to train surgical skills. A comparison of two popular systems (a real physical model and a virtual model) was conducted to determine the relative effectiveness of the systems for training purposes. Twenty-two medical students and surgical residents were tested on both simulators. Time to task completion and errors committed were recorded and compared. Our results showed that the physical training system was more sensitive to the experience levels of the subjects than the virtual system, and may be more effective as a tool for standardized training. However, as virtual reality technology becomes better developed, and surgeons become more familiar with the technology, we may see a change.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1679
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
Issue number15
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


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