Incorporating a Three-Dimensional Printed Airway into a Pediatric Flexible Bronchoscopy Curriculum

Natalia Painter, Demetri Monovoukas, Angela O. Delecaris, Andrea M. Coverstone, David A. Zopf, Thomas G. Saba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methods: The 3D-AM was designed to teach technical bronchoscopy skills, airway anatomy, airway pathology, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). The curriculum was offered to incoming fellows in pediatric pulmonology, pediatric surgery, and pediatric critical care across three different teaching institutions. After course completion, each participant assessed the simulation model(s) with a 5-point Likert scale across six domains: physical attributes, realism of experience, ability to perform tasks, value, relevance, and global impression. The expert instructors assessed the learners’ competency using a modified version of the Bronchoscopy Skills and Tasks Assessment Tool. Results: A total of 14 incoming fellows participated in the course. The mean scores for the 3D-AM across all six domains and across the three institutions was between 4 and 5, suggesting that learners generally had a favorable impression and a similar experience across different institutions. All learners “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the course was a valuable use of their time, helped teach technical skills and airway anatomy, and would be useful for extra training during fellowship. Most of the learners correctly identified anatomy, bronchomalacia, and performed a BAL. Wall trauma was observed in 36% of learners. Conclusion: The utility, low cost, and transferability of this model may create opportunities for PFB training across different institutions despite resource limitations in the United States and abroad.

Background: Although hands-on simulation plays a valuable role in procedural training, there are limited tools available to teach pediatric flexible bronchoscopy (PFB). Fellowship programs rely on patient encounters, with inherent risk, or high-cost virtual reality simulators that may not be widely available and create education inequalities. Objective: Our objective was to study the educational value and transferability of a novel, low-cost, three-dimensional-printed pediatric airway model (3D-AM) for PFB training. Our central hypothesis was that the 3D-AM would have high educational value and would be easily transferrable to learners at different teaching hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalATS Scholar
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • endoscopy
  • procedural training
  • simulation


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