Journal of Surgical Simulation 2021; 8: A: 14 - 14

Published: 30 June 2021


Meeting abstract

Special Issue: Effectiveness of videoconferencing as a tool for postgraduate surgical teaching

Jun Kit Koong, Seow Huey Choy, Khoon Leong Ng and April Camilla Roslani
Corresponding author: Jun Kit Koong, Department of Surgery, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Email:


Introduction: Utilizing alternative teaching tools is necessary in times of social distancing due to COVID-19. We examine the effectiveness of videoconferencing as a tool for postgraduate surgical teaching using a pre-test and post-test study design.

Methods: Twenty-one general surgery case-based discussions were conducted via a videoconferencing platform between 30 March 2020 and 19 May 2020 in a university hospital. Each session was led by a general surgical trainee and moderated by a general surgical consultant-trainer. All participating surgical trainees completed a similar set of Single Best Answer (SBA) questions before and after each case-based discussion. Results were compared using paired-sample t-test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test to assess improvement in the SBA scores for each case-based discussion. 

Results: 56 postgraduate general surgical trainees participated in this study. The pre-test and post-test comparison revealed significant improvement for 16 of the 21 case-based discussion topics. Trainees obtained the lowest pre-test mean score (out of 100) for gastric cancer (13.5 ± 16.1), oesophageal cancer (26.5 ± 16.6) and pancreatic carcinoma (28.5 ± 23.5). The post-test mean score improved significantly for gastric cancer (25.3 ± 21.1; Wilcoxon test Z=-2.922; P=0.003) and pancreatic carcinoma (61.5 ± 21.4; Wilcoxon test Z= -3.5; P <0.001) after the cased-based discussion but not for oesophageal cancer (29.7 ± 19.9; paired sample t test p=0.445). The greatest improvement was seen for the topic on inflammatory bowel disease (87.8%).

Conclusions: Post-test SBA results improved significantly after videoconference case-based discussion. It is an effective supplementary tool for postgraduate surgical teaching.


videoconferencing; surgical teaching; postgraduate

Additional Information

This presentation was given at the SES 2020 online conference, 4 July 2020.