Mobile Navigation

SFA and CFCOT Collaboration

back to overview back to overview

France preparing for national simulation curriculum in arthroscopy: “The search for the perfect motion”

Dr. Martina Vitz, Paul Walbron, and Isabel Gauggel
Since 1 November 2017, every surgical resident in France is supposed to get training on a simulator. To determine the best approach for arthroscopy, the French College of Orthopedic Surgery (CFCOT) is conducting a nationwide study in arthroscopic training methods in collaboration with the Francophone Society of Arthroscopy (SFA) and VirtaMed. The second data set will be collected during a tour to several University Hospitals, concluding at the Western Orthopedic Society (SOO) Congress in Rennes on 28–30 June, 2018.

In November 2016, the French Parliament passed a reform that shortened the time of residency and set maximum weekly work hours for residents across disciplines. The reform also introduced a mandate to provide all surgical residents with simulation training. Virtual reality simulators, such as the VirtaMed ArthroS™, will accelerate the learning curves and thus help maintain the quality of training within the new constraints.

France is the first country in the world to set such an ambitious target for residents in the beginning of their specialization. Medical societies looking to standardize surgical training welcome the mandate—their shared goal is to improve patient safety by ensuring all doctors have high, measurable standards and enough rest before treating patients.

The study by CFCOT and SFA, supported by VirtaMed, aims to help develop an effective standard proficiency level-based curriculum for arthroscopic residency. This nationwide study is expected to provide more detailed and comprehensive support to already existing data on proficiency-based simulation training. The organizers will measure the technical skills gained through different training curricula offered by their regional educational hospital. The residents of the University Hospitals of Nancy, Amiens, and Bordeaux may benefit from a proficiency-based simulator training on the VirtaMed ArthroS™, whereas the others will focus on more traditional training methods such as cadavers or box trainers, or only utilize videos, e-learning, or theoretical lessons.

The first evaluation of the 116 orthopedic residents was finished in mid-January, and while the data is still being analyzed it promises unprecedented insights on such a large population of novices. The second evaluation round will last three weeks in June 2018 and return to Marseille, Lyon, Nancy, Paris, Amiens, Bordeaux and finally Rennes, where the tour will end with the Western Orthopedic Society (SOO) Congress. This second set of measurements will help underline the impact of adding virtual reality surgical simulation to curricula as opposed to traditional training methods.

“We are happy to see France take the initiative in embracing technological development and patient safety in medical training”, states Dr. Martina Vitz, VirtaMed Head of Training & Education. VirtaMed supports the study by helping with the training arrangements and by providing the high-fidelity, virtual reality ArthroS™ simulators.

In addition to completing a pioneer study, CFCOT is looking to use the VirtaMed ArthroS™ to give virtual reality simulation a national momentum and to make its use a reality across France. “We need new technology to answer residents’ training needs and to follow the new safety standards”, says Paul Walbron, resident at Hôpitaux de Nancy Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologique, who is running the nationwide study with the support of the CFCOT president, Prof. Hervé Thomazeau and the SFA president, Prof. François Sirveaux. “The objective of simulation training is the same as that of any surgical education: the search for the perfect motion”, Mr. Walbron concludes.

Medical training simulators

Boost the physician education of your hospital or training center with virtual reality simulators: efficient medical training in a risk-free environment.