Journal of Surgical Simulation 2018; 5: A: 2 - 2

Published: 11 September 2018


Oral presentation

Special Issue: Virtual reality and surgical education

William English
Corresponding author: William English, The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK. Email:


Surgical training has evolved slowly over the past century. We still expect trainees to learn via an apprenticeship model of watching over the shoulder of the consultant surgeon. Coupled with this there are fewer training opportunities for trainees as consultants deliver more emergency care and senior trainees are now performing procedures that were historically performed by junior trainees.

This is leading to a generation of surgical trainees who feel they do not receive the training required to operate independently. A solution is required that allows trainees to develop the knowledge and skills required of a surgeon while also maintaining safety and minimised patient risk.

An evident solution is using simulation and virtual reality to provide this training. Virtual reality training allows a trainee to experience the operating theatre and a clinical scenario in a safe environment. The trainee can repeat parts or the entire scenario; they can make errors and proceed at their own pace.

Medical Realities has developed a virtual reality surgical training platform that allows this. We have designed a series of modules based around the RCSEng surgical curricula and the Joint Committee on Surgical Training/ The Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum (JCST/ISCP) training curricula to deliver high quality surgical teaching through virtual reality.  Each scenario has extensive teaching materials including anatomy. At the end of each scenario is an MCQ assessment. This allows the trainee to map their progress and provides a timesheet of simulation.

Our future plans include expansion into more surgical specialties and further developing the technology to improve the user experience.  


virtual reality; surgical training; trainees; simulation

Additional Information

This presentation was given at the 7th Annual Homerton Simulation Conference: Novel thinking and new technology in healthcare and education, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK, on 7 December 2017.

Conflicts of interest: W English is a Medical Advisor at Medical Realities.