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World premiere: Board Certification in Switzerland uses virtual reality simulator ArthroS™

December 10, 2013

World premiere: Board Certification in Switzerland uses virtual reality simulator ArthroS™

Fribourg, Switzerland, November 24th, 2013
The Swiss Board Certification for official recognition as a specialist in orthopedic surgery and traumatology of the musculoskeletal system took place November 23-24th, 2013. For the first time in the history of these certifications, the medical specialty board decided to conduct the exam partially on an arthroscopy simulator, the VirtaMed ArthroS™.

Switzerland leads the way to a new board certification for orthopaedic surgeons. The Swiss Society for Orthopedics and Traumatology (SGOT-SSOS) examined 77 candidates this year to qualify as an orthopaedic specialist. The certification took place at the Canton Hospital Fribourg and at the SwissEndos center. The examination process was twofold: part one was an oral exam discussing several clinical cases and part two included anatomic demonstrations as well as hands-on surgery either on human material or on the VirtaMed ArthroS™, a new training simulator for arthroscopy. 

Prof. Marcel Jakob from the University Hospital Basel and PD Dr. Maestretti from Fribourg were in charge to organize the board approval exam. They took on a pioneering task adopting cutting-edge simulation technology for an orthopaedic examination setting for the first time ever. "Big advantages of the simulator over human material are on the one hand easy setup and constant availability, and on the other hand much easier logistics. For the arthroscopy simulator, we didn't need any special preparation or location, as it doesn't involve real tissue or fluid - everything is just virtual." explains Prof. Marcel Jakob, Chief Physician at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland and Chairman of the certification board. 

Integrating innovative simulation technology into the medical certification of specialists has been an important milestone: „The experts highly appreciated the use of simulators in the exam. Based on the positive experience and the successful integration of the VirtaMed ArthroS™ into the exam this year, we plan to use it on a broader scale for upcoming exams.” What has been part of the examination process of pilots for decades finally also finds its place in surgical education and certification, clearly a progress and a step into an excellent future!