NYMC Faculty Publications

Robotic-Assisted Surgery Training (RAST): Assessment of Surgeon Console Ergonomic Skills

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Journal of Surgical Education

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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the responsiveness of postgraduate year (PGY) general surgery residents (GSRs) to surgeon console ergonomics within the robotic-assisted surgery training (RAST) program. DESIGN: This was a prospective educational study. GSRs were prepared with a pretraining educational video. Faculty provided one-on-one resident hands-on training and testing. Nine proficiency criteria (emergency stop & recover; left side pod adjustments; touchpad controls; footswitch panel; energy control pedals; camera control & focus; arm swap; master & finger clutch; dual console settings control) were assessed with a 5-point Likert-scale. Responsiveness was defined as change in performance over time. The robotic platform was Da Vinci Xi (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA). The Dundee ready educational environment measure (DREEM) inventory was used by GSRs to assess the educational environment. SETTING: Tertiary care academic teaching institution. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 22 GSRs: 4 PGY 1, 4 PGY 2, 4 PGY 3, 5 PGY 4, 5 PGY 5. RESULTS: From June 2022 to March 2023 the hands-on console time decreased at testing when compared to baseline: median 39.0 (range 37-41) vs 20.1 (range 19-22) minutes, respectively. There was no difference in mean hands-on testing scores stratified by PGY: 4.85±0.4 PGY1; 4.98 ± 0.3 PGY2; 4.86 ± 0.4 PGY3, 4.88 ± 0.2 PGY4, and 4.91 ± 0.1 PGY5 (ANOVA test; p = 0.095). The overall DREEM score was 167.1 ± 16.9 with CAC = 0.908 (excellent internal consistency). CONCLUSIONS: Training in ergonomics on the surgeon console impacted the responsiveness of the GSRs with 51% console time reduction. There were no differences in hands-on testing scores among PGYs. Perception of the educational environment by the GSRs was high.