VR will thoroughly enhance the overall surgical training experience. Source: Shutterstock

VR will thoroughly enhance the overall surgical training experience. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s how virtual reality can help train doctors and medical students

EFFECTIVE surgical training, in particular, is critical to practicing surgeons — it’s what makes them lifelong students.

With revolutionary advances in surgical tools and technologies, there’s a continuous need to learn and be trained. As a result, there is a growing gap in surgical experience and skills development among doctors and medical students as a result.

Lack of objective assessments, standardized forms of training, and experimental opportunities could be contributing factors — and virtual reality (VR) could provide a strategic solution.

VR technology can be programmed to simulate a surgical theater that is digitally tailored to give doctors and students a realistic experience.

When trainees are able to truly immerse themselves such an experience, they’ll be able to track their ongoing progress as they perform, making their training more practical and authentic.

A study discovered that general surgeons are not ready to perform surgeries independently after completing the training — which is why immersive training is useful.

Immersive training not only helps with retention of procedures but also help closely look for improvements.

Using VR, surgical training can be improved, giving current and future surgeons a standardized form of training, formalizing their experiences, and allowing a wholly objective assessment of surgical procedures performed.

A recent study revealed that surgical trainees performing a standardized procedure to repair a fractured tibia have improved the overall performance by 230 percent as a result of using VR technology.

Further, VR-equipped training resulted in trainees correctly completing 38 percent more steps than in traditional training settings.

Trainees were assessed against a procedure-specific standard and those utilizing VR were found to finish the surgery faster than those who were traditionally trained.

These new findings are significantly insightful as VR is proven to be a critical substance in surgical training, making it more effective and impactful.

Further, if VR is properly deployed in future training, medical students will be able to join the medical workforce with more confidence. VR makes elaborate and authentic hands-on training possible, shifting the dynamic in medical practice and surgical procedures for both new and experienced doctors.

Medical advances are usually evident with surgical tools and equipment that evolve with technology. Such advances have improved treatment procedures, patient care, and clinical processes.

Now, through research, technology evolution is proven to be beneficial and effective even in medical training. As more studies are set to explore the effectiveness of VR in medical training, it is hoped that a global initiative will be launched to scalably employ more VR technologies.