Journal of Surgical Simulation 2023; 10: 19 - 28

Published: 10 August 2023


Original article

The GlobalSurgBox: reducing medical student barriers to surgical simulation training

Caitlin M. Blades, Brian M. Carter, Melissa M. Smith, Helen J. Madsen, Jay D. Pal and Yihan Lin
Corresponding author: University of Colorado School of Medicine, 13001 E 17th Pl, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA. Email:


Background: Surgical simulation is central to the education of surgical trainees. Medical students desire early training but experience barriers such as high cost, lack of guidance, and inability to modify trainers with advancing skills. We hypothesize that the GlobalSurgBox platform will overcome many perceived barriers to the use of surgical simulation by medical students.

Methods: Forty-five medical students from the University of Colorado School of Medicine were provided a GlobalSurgBox during in-person training events. Learners viewed instructional videos, then divided into small groups for surgical technique training, guided by volunteer surgical residents. Students were asked to complete a voluntary, anonymous survey regarding their experience.

Results: Of the 45 participants, 30 completed the survey. There was a statistically significant increase in the pre-training comfort levels of using forceps (P = 0.02), two-handed knot tying (P = 0.03), and suturing (P = 0.04) after a single exposure to the GlobalSurgBox simulator. Eighty percent strongly agreed that the GlobalSurgBox encouraged practice, 53% felt more prepared for the operating room, and 67% deemed the trainer modifiable to meet advancing skills.

Conclusions: When utilized by medical students in the setting of video and hands-on instructional training, medical students reported that practice on the GlobalSurgBox made them feel more prepared to enter the operating room and increased comfort with basic surgical techniques. The GlobalSurgBox is seen as an affordable, encouraging, and modifiable trainer, thereby reducing perceived barriers to surgical simulation use.


surgical simulation; medical students; education; skills training; low-fidelity simulation

Additional Information

Caitlin M. Blades and Brian M. Carter contributed equally to this work.