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W. R. Raymond, R. A. Mazzoli, D. J. Solverson, T. F. Mark, H. A. Elizabeth, M. L. Nelson, A. Bhandari, C. D. Hartranft; Differentiating Basic Ophthalmic Microsurgical Skills Using Virtual Reality (VR) Simulation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):3160.
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Virtual Reality (VR) simulators may help residents and practicing ophthalmologists rapidly develop and consistently maintain microsurgical skills by providing repetitious training to performance standards and expert-level standards.
A newly available virtual reality surgical simulator, the EyeSi Ophthalmosurgical Simulator (VRMagic, GmbH, Mannheim, Germany) was evaluated as a valid part-task/part-skills training platform for developing and retaining basic ophthalmic microsurgical skills. Using the same basic dexterity modules, surgical novices (residents, interns, medical students) and intermediate surgeon (non-microsurgical ophthalmic staff) were compared to surgical experts (practicing ophthalmic microsurgeons). Manufacturer-provided default performance thresholds served as performance gates for advancing to the next level of difficulty within the studied simulation module. Performance was thereby objectively measured and compared between the three groups.
Expert surgeons performed significantly better than novice and intermediate surgeons. There was no significant difference in the rapidity of the improvement of the novices and intermediate groups.
Further refinements of VR software modules could enhance the validity of this platform in both training and maintaining ophthalmic procedural skills.
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