Development and Evaluation of a Proficiency-based and Simulation-based Surgical Skills Training for Technical Medicine Students

Frank Halfwerk*, Erik Groot Jebbink, Marleen Groenier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: Surgical graduate training to achieve practice-ready students is needed, yet is often lacking. This study developed and evaluated a proficiency-based, simulation-based course for basic surgical skills at graduate level. Learning outcomes were measured at the level of knowledge and skills and evaluated with a post-course questionnaire after students’ clinical rotations.

Methods: The surgical skills course was anchored to surgical patient flow and covered topics and skills related to pre-, intra-, and post-operative care, including case-based medical reasoning, patient safety, infection management, operating theatre etiquette, scrubbing and donning, instrument handling, local anaesthesia, excision of tissue, and suturing. Students were assessed on knowledge and procedural skills.

Results: 155 graduate Technical Medicine students from academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 entered this 10-week, 3 ECTS credits graduate Surgical Skills course. Pass rates of the knowledge test were 78%, and 87% for the procedural skill assessment. Graduate students reached proficiency level in a simulation-based basic surgical skills course. Students stated to go with confidence to the operating room and felt competent in performing four basic surgical skills.

Conclusion: Based on this study, we recommend that proficiency-based training using simulation should be standard in surgical curricula before students are allowed to practice on patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3523
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020


  • Patient-centred
  • Preclinical learning
  • Patient journey
  • Simulation-based training
  • Proficiency-based training


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