Dr. Popken, how many young surgeons do you train per year?
At the HELIOS clinic Berlin-Buch we have six residents in different stages of their education. In addition, every staff member has the obligation to participate in at least one personal and medical continuing education per year. Since the introduction of simulation training it has become mandatory and an inherent part of the first and continuing education of all medical staff.
Which skills can physicians acquire on simulators that they can put to good use later on in the operating room, on a real patient?
All of them!! The technique, a structured approach, as well as the enhancement of every operational step shouldn't be learned on the patient, but can now be trained on a simulator. One big difference to traditional training methods is that surgeons learn surgical techniques much faster and with less complications.
The fight for talent doesn't stop in the medical field. What can you offer young physicians that others maybe don't?
We offer our concept for education and continuing medical training that we are convinced of. This includes the measures stated above, and also takes into account the personal development of each resident. Surgeons in training give us positive feedback on the modern simulation training - without exceptions.
You are part of the development of a new TURB module for your simulators, for the removal of bladder tumors. What do you expect from it?
I expect the same effect that the TURP module had: fast, effective and safe training for a surgical procedure, BEFORE a physician in training goes into the OR to do surgery on a real patient.
There will be a version with active tactile feedback for the laser enucleation simulator soon. How valuable will this be in your opinion?
For doing surgery and handle natural tissue, haptics and tactile feedback are essential for success. It doesn't only matter what you see and hear, but also what you feel. These complex factors are one of the reasons for long and very individual learning curves. Adding tactile feedback to simulation training will be a huge enhancement.
How does surgical education look like in your ideal world?
Every procedure can be simulated with numerous levels of difficulty. As in real life surgery, the trainer and experienced physician can correct the trainee directly and smooth - just like in driving school.
Would you like to read the entire story of the HELIOS group?
HELIOS story in English (PDF)
Sie möchten die komplette Geschichte der HELIOS Kliniken auf deutsch lesen?
HELIOS story in German (PDF)