Basic surgical skills training: Does it work?


Juliette Koch, Department of Reproductive Medicine, Royal Hospital for Women, Barker St, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia. Email:


Background and Aim:  We assessed the RANZCOG Basic Surgical Skills Workshop (BSSW) with regards to trainees’ basic knowledge and skill using a laparoscopic pelvi-trainer.

Methods:  First-year trainees answered a multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) and performed timed simulated laparoscopic exercises with a pelvi-trainer before completing a 2-day workshop. Assessment was repeated following the workshop, at 6 months and 5 years.

Results:  MCQ results improved immediately after the workshop (baseline 16/34 vs post-course 23/34; P = 0.0001) declined at 6 months (post-course 24/34 vs 6 months 20/34; P = 0.009) with no change at 5 years (20/34 at 5 years). The time to complete both the simple and the complex laparoscopic exercises improved significantly following the workshop (simple: baseline 30 s, post-course 23 s; P = 0.008, complex: baseline 219 s, post-course 145 s; P = 0.0001) and was maintained at 6 months (simple: post-course 22 s, 6 months 23 s; P = 0.644, complex: post-course 124 s, 6 months 125 s; P = 0.958), but the time to complete the simple exercise was no better at 5 years and the time to complete the complex exercise was increased at 5 years (6 months 115 s, 5 years 172 s, P = 0.023).

Conclusions:  First-year trainees’ basic knowledge of electrosurgery, hysteroscopy and laparoscopy and the time to perform skills on a laparoscopic pelvi-trainer improved after a BSSW but there was no further improvement at 5 years.