Loyola Medicine Finds Better Way to Guide and Assess Robotic-assisted Surgery Trainees

Loyola Medicine Finds Better Way to Guide and Assess Robotic-assisted Surgery Trainees
Loyola medical school physicians have come up with a better way for surgeons in training to report on the robot-assisted prostate cancer operations they perform. These reports are important because seasoned physicians use them to help decide whether the trainees are accomplished enough to do surgeries on their own. The institution, whose full name is the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has dubbed the new surgery reporting system RoboLog. It has used it in 310 urologic robotic surgeries so far. Loyola researchers wrote an article on the approach, called “Design and Implementation of a Robotic Surgery Training Experience Logging System,” for the Journal of Surgical Education. A surgeon who does robot-assisted surgery uses a console with a 3D monitor and two joysticks to  control the robot’s movements. The approach allows a surgeon to perform an operation with precision. But before surgeons can perform any operation, they must reach certain training milestones while working as residents. Most medical schools use the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's logging system to evaluate trainees. It registers whether a resident performs or assists in a robotic surgery. A shortcoming of the system is that it fails to account for variations in how much a resident participates on the console. For instance, a resident who only participates in removing lymph nodes — which is just one part of a robotic prostate cancer surgery — gets the same credit as a resident who performs the entire surgery.
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