Introduction Simulation is increasingly being advocated to enhance training in complex technical skills such as endoscopy. While a growing body of evidence suggests simulation use within a study context can improve technical and non-technical skills , little attention has been paid to the learning experiences of trainee doctors using simulators to learn such skills.
Motivation is an important component of effective learning but anecdotal evidence suggests some trainees may be less motivated to learn in a simulated environment than in traditional training.
Aim To determine which factors trainee doctors identified as positively and negatively affecting levels of motivation during endoscopy training using a simulator.
Methods We invited a cohort of surgical and medical gastroenterology trainees to participate in semi-structured interviews. 6 trainees who had used an endoscopy simulator as part of their regular training were purposively selected to include a range of stages of training. We analysed the recorded interviews in an inductive fashion from an interpretivist perspective concentrating on key themes, outlying cases and use of language to develop insight into factors affecting motivation.
Results Major emergent themes specific to simulator use included:
Context of simulator use including: Physical environment, professional and educational
Positive impact of intermittent rather than continuous supervisor presence and feedback
Recognising limitations of utility
Differences in individual preferences relating to the above issues was also emphasised suggesting, where possible, a tailored approach would maximise motivation. The limitations of simulator based learning was repeatedly mentioned by senior trainees, with a suggestion that being forced to learn on simulators beyond a point where they were perceived useful could have a detrimental impact on motivation. However, several trainees identified alternative uses such as team training exercises which could provide motivating simulator based learning at more senior levels.
Conclusion The above issues should be considered in all units using simulators in training for endoscopy or similar complex technical skills. The impact of the physical environment, altered role of the supervisor and optimum methods of delivering feedback in simulator based endoscopy training merit further exploration.
As simulator based learning becomes more widely available, careful consideration of how it is used at different stages of the endoscopy curriculum is required.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jun 13; 6:CD008237
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