Evaluation of Laparoscopic Skills in Veterinary Students using Simulation Technology
Laparoscopic surgery is gaining popularity in veterinary medicine for the patient-associated benefits, and enhanced visualization provided by the laparoscope. When compared to conventional open surgery, a laparoscopic surgeon must develop a unique technical skill-set to contend with new challenges and operating room distractions. It remains to be determined whether prior experiences that improve manual dexterity, bimanual coordination, and visuospatial perception enhance the baseline performance of laparoscopic technical sills. This thesis investigates the relationship between prior open surgical and non-surgical experiences on the performance of baseline laparoscopic skills in veterinary students. This thesis further explores the impact of operating room distraction on the performance of a simulator-based laparoscopic exercise in novices. We found that prior craft experience was the only significant predictor of baseline laparoscopic skill performance in a simulator in veterinary students, and the introduction of cognitive distraction significantly reduces the performance of a simulator-based laparoscopic exercise in novices.