Use of targeted educational resources to improve robotic bariatric surgery training

Julie M. Clanahan, Michael M. Awad, Francesca M. Dimou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Evidence for how to best train surgical residents for robotic bariatric procedures is lacking. We developed targeted educational resources to promote progression on the robotic bariatric learning curve. This study aimed to characterize the effect of resources on resident participation in robotic bariatric procedures. Methods: Performance metrics from the da Vinci Surgical System were retrospectively reviewed for sleeve gastrectomy (SG) and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) cases involving general surgery trainees with a single robotic bariatric surgeon. Pictorial case guides and narrated operative videos were developed for these procedures and disseminated to trainees. Percent active control time (%ACT)—amount of trainee console time spent in active instrument manipulations over total active time from both consoles—was the primary outcome measure following dissemination. One-way ANOVA, Student’s t-tests, and Pearson correlations were applied. Results: From September 2020 to July 2021, 50 cases (54% SG, 46% RYGB) involving 14 unique trainees (PGY1-PGY5) were included. From November 2021 to May 2022 following dissemination, 29 cases (34% SG, 66% RYGB) involving 8 unique trainees were included. Mean %ACT significantly increased across most trainee groups following resource distribution: 21% versus 38% for PGY3s (p = 0.087), 32% versus 45% for PGY4s (p = 0.0009), and 38% versus 57% for PGY5s (p = 0.0015) and remained significant when stratified by case type. Progressive trainee %ACT was not associated with total active time for SG cases before or after intervention (pre r = − 0.0019, p = 0.9; post r = − 0.039, p = 0.9). It was moderately positively associated with total active time for RYGB cases before dissemination (r = 0.46, p = 0.027) but lost this association following intervention (r = 0.16, p = 0.5). Conclusion: Use of targeted educational resources promoted increases in trainee participation in robotic bariatric procedures with more time spent actively operating at the console. As educators continue to develop robotic training curricula, efforts should include high-quality resource development for other sub-specialty procedures. Future work will examine the impact of increased trainee participation on clinical and patient outcomes. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-901
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Objective performance metrics
  • Robotic education
  • Robotic surgery
  • Robotic training
  • Surgical education


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