Training novice robot surgeons: Proctoring provides same results as simulator-generated guidance

A. J. W. Beulens*, Y. A. F. Hashish, W. M. Brinkman, P. Umari, S. Puliatti, E. L. Koldewijn, A. J. M. Hendrikx, J. P. van Basten, J. J. G. van Merrienboer, H. G. Van der Poel, C. H. Bangma, C. Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To understand the influence of proctored guidance versus simulator generated guidance (SGG) on the acquisition dexterity skills in novice surgeons learning RAS (robot assisted surgery). Prospective non-blinded 3-arm randomised controlled trial (RTC). Exclusion criteria: previous experience in RAS or robotic surgery simulation. The participants were assigned to three different intervention groups and received a different form of guidance: (1) proctored guidance, (2) simulator generated guidance, (3) no guidance, during training on virtual reality (VR) simulator. All participants were asked to complete multiple questionnaires. The training was the same in all groups with the exception of the intervention part. Catharina Hospital Eindhoven, The Netherlands. A total of 70 Dutch medical students, PhD-students, and surgical residents were included in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the three groups. Overall, all the participants showed a significant improvement in their dexterity skills after the training. There was no significant difference in the improvement of surgical skills between the three different intervention groups. The proctored guidance group reported a higher participant satisfaction compared to the simulator-generated guidance group, which could indicate a higher motivation to continue the training. This study showed that novice surgeons. Significantly increase their dexterity skills in RAS after a short time of practicing on simulator. The lack of difference in results between the intervention groups could indicate there is a limited impact of "human proctoring" on dexterity skills during surgical simulation training. Since there is no difference between the intervention groups the exposure alone of novice surgeons to the robotic surgery simulator could possibly be sufficient to achieve a significant improvement of dexterity skills during the initial steps of RAS learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-428
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Training
  • Robot assisted surgery
  • Assessment
  • Robotics
  • Education
  • TIME

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