Plastic Surgery Research Council

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Development of an Ultrasound and Simulation Curriculum With Low-Cost, High Impact Models for Plastic Surgery Education
Joanna H. Ng-Glazier, MD, Jeffrey A. Gusenoff, MD.
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

PURPOSE: Simulation is a proven, effective mode of virtual surgical education, but has yet to be defined in plastic surgery. Studies suggest that formal integration of a simulation curriculum is beneficial to trainees, but remains a challenge due to lack of low-cost, reusable models.
METHODS: A 5-session curriculum was developed based on survey data at an ACGME-accredited plastic surgery program. Residents identified several topics of deficiency, and subsequent models for breast ptosis, breast abscess/seroma, gluteal fat injection, and nerve block were created to address these topics. Electronic reading resources and video links as well as expert faculty oversight complemented each session. Survey data before and after each session was gathered to measure improvements, if any, in fund of knowledge, technical skill, quality of models and reading material, and overall satisfaction.
RESULTS: 24 residents participated in the study, identifying three areas of clinical deficiency: preoperative breast and free flap markings, photography standards, and use of ultrasound for bedside procedures. Four non-clinical areas of deficiency included financial advice, life/disability insurance, board collection, and contract negotiation. On a scale of 1-10, average post-simulation knowledge and confidence in technical skills nearly doubled, from 4.32 to 7.00, with an 8.64 and 8.67 satisfaction rating of models and reading materials, respectively. 100% of residents desired session integration into the current educational experience. Data stratification by training year and continued improvements to the curriculum are ongoing.
CONCLUSION: n the era of duty hour restrictions, the development of pre-clinical, post-graduate simulation curriculums and low-cost, high impact models can supplement our current resident education, assisting in evaluation of competency-based curriculums and milestones.


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