Liver surgery is considered an essential part of the general surgery curriculum, and trainees in this field need guidance to learn the complex liver anatomy, pathophysiology, patient management, and necessary operative skills to successfully manage patients. At the end of residency training, a general surgeon is expected to have an understanding of liver anatomy as determined by their ability to develop surgical plans to resect hepatic tumors. This is a challenging process, as the trainee should have a vast cognitive knowledge of liver anatomy and pathophysiology, and must be able to interpret CT/MR images, mentally reconstruct the anatomy into a 3D structure, and then create a surgical plan for liver resection. This results in high element interactivity and a split attention effect, where the trainee has to incorporate multiple sources of information simultaneously. When it comes to education, one of the most challenging focuses is to determine how this cognitive load could be addressed. The objective of this PhD project is to identify the knowledge and skills that should be achieved as the fundamental components of a liver surgery curriculum for surgical trainees. After need assessment, the transferability of mandatory knowledge and skills will be assessed by designing and validating a proficiency based stepwise training module. Surgical training based on such a standardized program may produce general surgeons who are well prepared to either practice as an independent surgeon or pursue subspecialty fellowship.
Safety in the OR is an important topic, containing both patient safety and team safety. Procedures in vascular surgery are being performed endovascularly at an increasing rate. This shift from open to endovascular surgery is accompanied by an increased radiation dose for both patients and team members. Adequate training of team members has been identified as a primordial factor in reducing the radiation load. At the moment, training consists of an obligatory theoretical course. However, this course should be followed by lifelong learning (e.g. annual refresher courses), requiring participant motivation and interest. The goal of this PhD is to try to make the principles of radiation protection as accessible as possible, by presenting them in an attractive and engaging way. The medium used for this will be a serious game, which has already proven its value in medical education. This PhD will also focus on the ways to monitor team performance and the application of radioprotection principles. A novel technology called ‘the surgical black box’ could be used for this purpose, benefiting patient and team safety, however, since there has been no validation of such systems in the hybrid angiography suite, it will have to be validated first to assess its feasibility and applicability.