Rate the Surgeons
Development and refinement of surgical skills are critical and time consuming components of the training curriculum of novice surgeons. Traditional methods for surgical training and evaluation are known to be long-drawn processes in which interns and junior residents perform surgical procedures under the supervision of a senior surgeon, commonly known as the apprenticeship method. This method is used for training as well as subjective evaluation of surgical interns. The apprenticeship method is designed to provide focused one-to-one training that is critical to learning life saving procedures. In recent years, the preferred mode of surgical access has shifted from open surgery to minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Advances in computer science and applications such as sensing, modeling and visualization, artificial intelligence, control systems, data acquisition and analysis have made robotic surgery an achievable goal and a logical next step in the evolution of surgical procedures. While open surgery allowed surgeons to make sizeable incisions and manually handle surgical tasks such as suturing and sewing, MIS and robotic surgery distances the patient from the surgeon thereby limiting manual handling. With increasing distance between the patient and surgeon, in some cases by thousands of miles, surgical instruments, such as probes, have become more sophisticated and complex. Senior surgical educators are faced with the daunting task of teaching residents how to properly conduct procedures and simultaneously judge their proficiency. One of the major problems with training surgical residents is obtaining an objective surgical proficiency evaluation. Now, more than ever, surgeons are faced with novel complex procedures, increased focus on patient safety, and reducing costs. This complexity leads to an increased need for improved training and evaluation methods for novice surgeons.