High educational impact of a national simulation-based urological curriculum including technical and non-technical skills

Anna H. de Vries*, Barbara M. A. Schout, Jeroen J. G. van Merrienboer, Rob C. M. Pelger, Evert L. Koldewijn, Arno M. M. Muijtjens, Cordula Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

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Although simulation training is increasingly used to meet modern technology and patient safety demands, its successful integration within surgical curricula is still rare. The Dutch Urological Practical Skills (D-UPS) curriculum provides modular simulation-based training of technical and non-technical basic urological skills in the local hospital setting. This study aims to assess the educational impact of implementing the D-UPS curriculum in the Netherlands and to provide focus points for improvement of the D-UPS curriculum according to the participants.

Educational impact was assessed by means of qualitative individual module-specific feedback and a quantitative cross-sectional survey among residents and supervisors. Twenty out of 26 Dutch teaching hospitals participated. The survey focussed on practical aspects, the D-UPS curriculum in general, and the impact of the D-UPS curriculum on the development of technical and non-technical skills.

A considerable survey response of 95 % for residents and 76 % for supervisors was obtained. Modules were attended by junior and senior residents, supervised by a urologist, and peer teaching was used. Ninety percent of supervisors versus 67 % of residents judged the D-UPS curriculum as an important addition to current residency training (p = 0.007). Participants' aggregated general judgement of the modules showed a substantial percentage favorable score (M +/- SE: 57 +/- 4 %). The impact of training on, e.g., knowledge of materials/equipment and ability to anticipate on complications was high, especially for junior residents (77 +/- 5 and 71 +/- 7 %, respectively). Focus points for improvement of the D-UPS curriculum according to the participants include adaptation of the training level to residents' level of experience and focus on logistics.

The simulation-based D-UPS curriculum has a high educational impact. Residents and supervisors consider the curriculum to be an important addition to current residency training. Focus points for improvement of the D-UPS curriculum according to the participants include increased attention to logistics and integration of a spiral learning approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-936
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical endoscopy and other interventional techniques
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Simulation
  • Curriculum development
  • Practical skills
  • Residents
  • Urology

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