The NeuroTouch Simulation Study

ID Number 13-0136

Principal Investigator(s)
Joshua B Bederson

Department(s) or Division(s)


Within the past decade laparoscopic surgical simulation devices have played an increasingly important role in the "hands-on" training of General Surgery residents. These simulation tools have been classically designed to introduce residents to the fundamental techniques of General Surgery. However to date there has not been a simulation device specifically designed to address the unique surgical training requirements of neurosurgery residents. With the recent development of the NeuroTouch Simulation System a dedicated virtual neurosurgery training simulator a window of opportunity has been created to study the device's impact on the performance of neurosurgery residents in the operating room. With the recent acquisition of the NeuroTouch Simulator by our Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai we are officially the first neurosurgery residency program in the United States to utilize this device in the training of its residents. We hypothesize that an individual's learning curve or the change in rate of learning for a given series of tasks as measured on NeuroTouch will predict surgical skill in the operating room. The NeuroTouch simulator offers a spectrum of sample practice tasks including brain tumor resection establishing hemostasis and ultrasonic aspiration. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) along with a consortium of Canadian teaching hospitals is currently examining which of the aforementioned tasks best predict surgical performance in the operating room. In contrast our project will examine the correlation between learning and performance in the operating room. We hypothesize that an individual's learning curve as measured by serial exposure to a defined set of tasks on the NeuroTouch simulator will be the best predictor of surgical skill and confidence in the operating room. We plan to take a multi-disciplinary approach to the validation and data gathering portions of our study recruiting the help from various different clinical departments at Mount Sinai including Psychiatry and Biostatistics. Research participants will include volunteer medical students at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and residents and faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai. Our dedicated research team includes Neurosurgery faculty residents and staff. We anticipate the data collection and analysis portion of this project to take somewhere within the order of 1-2 years with a manuscript to follow.

Contact Information
Steven Philemond
(212) 241-6984

Recruiting Patients: Yes