Simulating Surgical Skills in Animals: Systematic Review, Costs & Acceptance Analyses

Konstantin D Bergmeister, Martin Aman, Anne Kramer, Thilo L Schenck, Otto Riedl, Simeon C Daeschler, Oskar C Aszmann, Helga Bergmeister, Mohammad Golriz, Arianeb Mehrabi, Gabriel Hundeshagen, Perenlei Enkhbaatar, Michael P Kinsky, Bruno K Podesser

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Modern surgery demands high-quality and reproducibility. Due to new working directives, resident duty hours have been restricted and evidence exists that pure on-the-job training provides insufficient exposure. We hypothesize that supplemental simulations in animal models provide a realistic training to augment clinical experiences. This study reviews surgical training models, their costs and survey results illustrating academic acceptance. Methods: Animal models were identified by literature research. Costs were analyzed from multiple German and Austrian training programs. A survey on their acceptance was conducted among faculty and medical students. Results: 915 articles were analyzed, thereof 91 studies described in-vivo animal training models, predominantly for laparoscopy (30%) and microsurgery (24%). Cost-analysis revealed single-training costs between 307€ and 5,861€ depending on model and discipline. Survey results illustrated that 69% of the participants had no experience, but 66% would attend training under experienced supervision. Perceived public acceptance was rated intermediate by medical staff and students (4.26; 1-low, 10 high). Conclusion: Training in animals is well-established and was rated worth attending in a majority of a representative cohort to acquire key surgical skills, in light of reduced clinical exposure. Animal models may therefore supplement the training of tomorrow's surgeons to overcome limited hands-on experience until virtual simulations can provide such educational tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number570852
Pages (from-to)570852
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2020


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