Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2021; 34(03): 144-150
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1718686
Review Article

Role of Digital Resources in Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery Training

Heidi Paine
1   General Surgery Registrar, London Deanery, London, United Kingdom
Manish Chand
2   Department of Surgery and Interventional Sciences, University College London Hospitals, NHS Trusts, GENIE Centre, University College London, London, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations


Laparoscopic techniques have become the standard for many benign and malignant colorectal pathologies. Recently, the application of robotic-assisted technologies has been, and continues to be, explored. These new technologies require different skill sets and bring novel training challenges, and today's trainees must demonstrate competence in more techniques than ever. Compounding this is the reducing time spent operating in current training programs due to caps on working hours and service pressures.

The need for adjunctive training strategies outside the operating room has prompted development of multimedia and digital resources to build the cognitive skills crucial in both nontechnical and technical aspects of surgery. Many are based on principles of cognitive task analysis, breaking down operations, and key decisions into nodal points to be mentally rehearsed. Resources built on this technique have shown improvements in both operative and nonoperative skills, suggesting these resources can advance trainees along the learning curve in minimally invasive surgical techniques.

More work to fully elucidate the clinical benefits of such resources is required before their role as a substitute for lost operative training hours can be established. Despite this, alongside other developing technologies such as simulation, they are a promising addition to the armamentarium of the modern-day colorectal trainee.

Publication History

Article published online:
29 March 2021

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