Background: The proposed implementation of work hour restrictions has presented a significant challenge of maintaining the quality of resident education and ensuring adequate hands-on experience that is essential for novice surgeons. To maintain the level of resident surgical competency, revision of the apprentice model of surgical education to include supplementary educational methods, such as laboratory and virtual reality (VR) simulations, have become frequent topics of discussion. We aimed to better understand the role of supplementary educational methods in Canadian neurosurgery residency training. Methods: An online survey was sent to program directors of all 14 Canadian neurosurgical residency programs and active resident members of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society (N=85). We asked 16 questions focusing on topics of surgeon perception, current implementation and barriers to supplementary educational models. Results: Of the 99 surveys sent, 8 out of 14 (57%) program directors and 37 out of 85 (44%) residents completed the survey. Of the 14 neurosurgery residency programs across Canada, 7 reported utilizing laboratory-based teaching within their educational plan, while only 3 programs reported using VR simulation as a supplementary teaching method. The biggest barriers to implementing supplementary educational methods were resident availability, lack of resources, and cost. Conclusions: Work-hour restrictions threaten to compromise the traditional apprentice model of surgical training. The potential value of supplementary educational methods for surgical education is evident, as reported by both program directors and residents across Canada. However, availability and utilization of laboratory and VR simulations are limited by numerous factors such as time constrains and lack of resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology