The nation’s largest meeting of urologists will, for the first time, offer training courses in robotic surgery, using new, independently validated technology.
The American Urological Association’s Dr. Elspeth McDougall and Mimic Technologies, the company that designed the simulation software system for the da Vinci robot, will host the training. AUA’s annual conference takes place May 4-7, 2013.
“Robotic surgery is critical to treating particular urological diseases, but it takes time to learn and requires adequate training,” said Dr. Elspeth McDougall, professor of urology, and provincial coordinator of Health Simulation Education at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada; and the chair of the AUA Office of Education.
“The robotic skills training courses being offered at the 2013 AUA Annual Meeting in San Diego will help the national and international urologists understand the principals and techniques required to operate robotically and allow them to develop the basic skills and experience they need to begin to incorporate robotic surgery into their practice when it is the better option for patients,” added Dr. McDougall.
Nine courses will be offered at the AUA annual conference and will include hands-on simulation with both hardware and software provided by Mimic Technologies. As simulation-based training technology finds its way into ever- PAGE TWO AUA CLASSES increasing areas of use in medicine, there is a greater demand for time on simulators. As an adjunct or replacement to peer-to-peer training, the simulators allow surgeons to become familiar with the daVinci robot before coming into contact with a live patient.
“Surgical societies play a very important role when it comes to teaching surgeons how to use surgical robots. We notice that they are utilizing simulation more than ever,” says Dr. Jeff Berkley, founder and CEO of Mimic Technologies. “Many hospitals utilize Mimic’s simulation platform for training surgeons in-house, but training protocols and standards can vary significantly between institutions.” He added, “Society sponsored courses help demonstrate best practices when it comes to robotics education, which allows educators to improve training programs at their respective hospitals.”
Mimic plans to hold future training courses at the following annual meetings: Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Clinical Robotics Surgery Association, and Society of Robotic Surgeons.
“The importance of this training, which uses new sophisticated simulation technology, is that it allows each urologic surgeon to feel like they are in the operating room, while exploring the potential of the robot in a risk-free learning environment away from the patient,” says McDougall. “This allows surgeons to learn the technology and the expertise of robotic surgery much more quickly.”