Traditional surgical training, largely based on the Halstedian model “see one, do one, teach one” is not as effective in the era of working time restrictions and elaborate shift-patterns. As a result, contemporary surgeons turned to educational methods outside the operating theatre such as simulation. Cadavers are high fidelity models but their use has ethical and cost implications and their availability may be limited. In this review, we explore the role of cadaveric simulation in modern surgical education.
All the Evidence-Based Medicine databases were searched for relevant reviews. The resulting studies were assessed for inclusion to this review, according to pre-determined criteria. Data extraction was performed using a custom-made spreadsheet, and the quality of included reviews was assessed using a validated scoring system (AMSTAR).
The literature review yielded 33 systematic reviews; five of which matched the inclusion criteria and were included in this review of reviews. Cadaveric simulation was found to have good face (subjective assessment of usefulness) and content validity (whether a specific element adds or retracts to the educational value) while trainees improved their surgical skills after practicing on cadavers. However, concerns have been raised about ethical issues, high cost and availability.
Cadavers are an effective medium for surgical teaching, and it may be appropriate for them to be used whenever surrounding conditions such cost and availability allow. Further research is required to provide evidence on whether there is equivalence between cadavers and other educational media which may not bear the same shortcomings.
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- Cadaveric simulation: a review of reviews
C. S. Biyani
- Springer London
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