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Invited Commentary
September 15, 2021

The Experienced Surgeon and New Tricks—It’s Time for Full Adoption and Support of Automated Performance Metrics and Databases

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(12):1109-1110. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.4531

There is a paucity of mainstream, consensus, and data-driven information on how best to train experienced surgeons a new skill and ensure competency/mastery.1 A major, unanswered question is how much of the training can or should happen outside of the operating room? And, which metrics support both venues? When reviewing the training modalities that allow for learning outside of the operating room, it is notable that a wide variety of animal and cadaver models as well as tabletop simulations and virtual reality simulators have been used for training experienced surgeons. Most of the training outcomes data captured when using these modalities show some level of evidence-affirming skill acquisition; however, there is still a critical need to understand long-term skill retention and transferability to the live operating room.2 Independent of learning modality, the fundamental foundation for training success both in and outside of the operating room still lies in the assessment.3

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