2020 has been a huge challenge for all, with massive disruption to global life and healthcare. All are hoping for a more normal 2021, with the rollout of vaccinations a key part of the strategy.
In the UK, many planned operations have been cancelled and disruption persists for now. Many surgeons were seconded to medicine and critical care as managing covid-19 became the priority. In the fullness of time, the transferable skills acquired during this time will be better appreciated. However, the reduction in elective operating (and increasingly consultant-delivered service) has certainly reduced surgical training opportunities for many.
The three directors of eoSurgical all work as NHS surgeons and have seen the impact first-hand. We have also appreciated an increased awareness of the role that surgical simulation can play. For some, simulation has been embraced for the first time as a tool to mitigate for the reduction in operating opportunities. Those with already-established simulation setups have been better able to respond immediately.
Pandemic or not, the underlying motivation for our simulators is to facilitate and accelerate skills acquisition in a safe, accessible, effective environment. This means that, during the actual operation, more bandwidth is available to learn other aspects of high-performance surgery. For example, appreciating anatomical variation or honing NOTSS. There is a solid and growing evidence base illustrating the effectiveness for eoSim.
The eoSim, with incorporated instrument tracking (and specialty-specific curricula), is the ideal antidote to reduced operating opportunities; particularly for early years / core surgical trainees. If you do not receive one from your deanery / training program – ask! Or ask Santa Claus / your family! Equipped with yours, you will be ready to shine in 2021, upskilled and ready for what we all hope will be a far better year.
Consultant neurosurgeon and honorary clinical lecturer, Edinburgh