The goal of this study was to determine if a robotic dry laboratory curriculum for gynecology and urology residents improved their basic robotic skills.
After the institution-specific institutional review board approval or exemption, 165 residents from 8 gynecology and/or urology programs were enrolled. Residents underwent standardized robotic orientation followed by dry laboratory testing on 4 unique robotic tasks. Residents were block randomized by program to unstructured or structured training programs. Regardless of group, residents were expected to practice for 15 minutes twice monthly over 7 months. Errors, time to completion, and objective structured assessment of technical skills global rating scores were recorded for each task before and after the training period. Statistics were calculated using the Student t tests, Pearson correlation, and analysis of variance with STATA systems (version 11.2).
A total of 99 residents completed both the pretraining and posttraining testing. A mean of 4 (range, 0–15) 15-minute training sessions per resident was self-reported. The structured group had faster posttraining times on the transection task, although the unstructured group had higher posttraining scores on the knot-tying task.
Overall, the residents’ robotic skills improved after participating in a dry laboratory curriculum; however, robotic availability, duty hour restrictions, and clinical responsibilities limit the curriculum implementation.