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Robotic Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills: A Randomized Multicenter Dry Laboratory Training Pilot Study

Tarr, Megan Elizabeth MD, MS*; Rivard, Colleen MD; Petzel, Amy E. BS; Summers, Sondra MD§; Mueller, Elizabeth R. MD, MSME*; Rickey, Leslie M. MD, MPH; Denman, Mary A. MD; Harders, Regina BA#; Durazo-Arvizu, Ramon PhD#; Kenton, Kimberly MD, MS*

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: July/August 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 228–236
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000067
Original Articles

Study Objective The goal of this study was to determine if a robotic dry laboratory curriculum for gynecology and urology residents improved their basic robotic skills.

Methods 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).

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

This is a multi center pilot study of a robotic dry lab curriculum in which resident participants were randomized to structured or unstructured practice over a 7 month period.

From the *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; †Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; ‡Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, §Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; ∥Department of Urology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; ¶Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health & Sciences University Medical Center, Portland, OR; and #Department of Preventative Medicine and Epidemiology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.

Reprints: Megan Elizabeth Tarr, MD, MS, Section of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, A-81 Cleveland, OH 44195. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

No reprints available

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins