Stakeholder perspectives and status of surgical simulation and skills training in Canadian urology residency program

  • Anjali M. Lobo Dalhousie University
  • Steve Doucette Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Andrea G. Lantz Powers Dalhousie University
Keywords: Simulation, Residency training, urology, surgical simulation, competency by design, competency based training, barriers


Introduction: With the shift to competency-based training, surgical skills lab training (SSLT) may become a mandatory part of Canadian urology residency programs (CURPs). This study aims to identify: 1) the status of SSLT in CURP; 2) stakeholder perspectives on the utility of SSLT; 3) barriers to developing and implementing SSLT; and 4) how to address these barriers.

Methods: Surveys were developed and issued to three groups of stakeholders: 1) SSLT directors at all 13 CURPs (response rate 100%); 2) teaching faculty (response rate 33%); and 3) urology residents (response rate 24%). Surveys 2 and 3 were sent to 10 English CURPs. Results were collected through email and SurveyMonkey®.

Results: Nine of 13 CURPs have a dedicated SSLT; 46% of CURP have 1–3 sessions per year, 8% have 5–7, and 30% >7. Most residents have independent lab access, but 80% do so less than once monthly. Over 90% of stakeholders find SSLT useful, of which high-fidelity models are most preferred (faculty rated 3.66/4, residents 3.18/4). Program directors (PDs) identified lack of protected faculty time, funding, and infrastructure as the top three barriers to SSLT implementation. Residents found lack of faculty time, protected academic time, and infrastructure as barriers. PDs viewed protecting faculty time and more funding as potential solutions, while residents suggested protected faculty and academic time, and after-hours lab access.

Conclusions: Residents, faculty, and PDs in CURPs view SSLT as useful. Most CURPs have defined SSLT; programs without this have labs for resident use but are underused. To continue to develop and progress SSLT, more time, participation, and funding must be made available.

Author Biographies

Anjali M. Lobo, Dalhousie University

Resident, Department of Urology 

Steve Doucette, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Senior Biostatistician, Research Methods Unit, Centre for Clinical Research; Nova Scotia Health Authority

Andrea G. Lantz Powers, Dalhousie University

Assistant Professor, Department of Urology 

How to Cite
Lobo, A. M., Doucette, S., & Lantz Powers, A. G. (2020). Stakeholder perspectives and status of surgical simulation and skills training in Canadian urology residency program. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 14(10), 322-7.
Original Research