Several recent advances in gynecologic cancer care have improved patient outcomes. These include national screening and vaccination programs for cervical cancer as well as neoadjuvant chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Conversely, these advances have cumulatively reduced surgical opportunities for training creating a need to supplement existing training strategies with evidence-based adjuncts. Technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, if properly evaluated and validated, have transformative potential to support training. Given the changing landscape of surgical training in gynecologic oncology, we were keen to summarize the evidence underpinning current training in gynecologic oncology.
In this review, we undertook a literature search of Medline, Google, Google Scholar, Embase and Scopus to gather evidence on the current state of training in gynecologic oncology and to highlight existing evidence on the best methods to teach surgical skills. Drawing from the experiences of other surgical specialties we examined the use of training adjuncts such as cadaveric dissection, animation and 3D models as well as simulation training in surgical skills acquisition. Specifically, we looked at the use of training adjuncts in gynecologic oncology training as well as the evidence behind simulation training modalities such as low fidelity box trainers, virtual and augmented reality simulation in laparoscopic training. Finally, we provided context by looking at how training curriculums varied internationally.
Whereas some evidence to the reliability and validity of simulation training exists in other surgical specialties, our literature review did not find such evidence in gynecologic oncology. It is important that well conducted trials are used to ascertain the utility of simulation training modalities before integrating them into training curricula.
- Gynecologic Surgical Procedures
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B-LK and NB are joint first authors.
Twitter @ben_kemah, @sundar_sudha
Contributors SS conceptualised the paper, selected search terms, supervised the searches, reviewed drafts and edited the manuscript. B-LK, NB and AP performed searches, extracted information and wrote the paper. RS reviewed the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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