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Teaching pediatric surgery using medical simulation: current situation in France in 2013

Emilie Eyssartier¹, Jean Bréaud², Hubert Lardy³, Jérome Berton¹, Jean-Claude Granry¹, Guillaume Podevin¹

¹CHU Angers, Angers, France, ²Faculté de médecine, Nice, France, ³CHRU de Tours, Tours, France



Introduction: Paediatric surgery is a generalist surgery, and deals with rare pathologies (frequency from 1/2000 to 1/5000). Effective skills acquisition in the operating room is becoming increasingly difficult with larger numbers of residents to be trained, and the existing system still lacks well-defined structured training programs.
Aims of the study: The aim of this study was to determine if medical or surgical simulation is used to teach paediatric surgery in France. 

Method: Paediatric surgery residents, and young practitioners working in paediatric surgery units in France were requested to fill in a questionnaire sent by e-mail. This questionnaire was sent to all recipients of the ACPF mailing list (Association des Chirurgiens Pédiatres en Formation).
Results: Out of 128 paediatric surgeons having received the questionnaire, only 48 answered, who were working in 19 different centers. Simulation had been compulsory for 7 of these surgeons. Simple operative skills using surgical simulation were taught to 27 surgeons. Three people had practiced more than 10 hours, and 1 more than 20 hours. More elaborated virtual reality was used by 21 surgeons, 5 had practiced more than 10 hours, and 1 more than 20 hours. 6 residents had taken part in high fidelity simulation sessions.
Conclusion: Training programs using surgical simulation are not much developed. It seems that paediatric surgery residents are not much interested in training by surgical simulation. We believe that a compulsory program should be developed, starting at undergraduate study level.