Innate Arthroscopic & Laparoscopic Surgical Skills: A Systematic Review of Predictive Performance Indicators Within Novice Surgical Trainees

Objective: To query the literature for predictive factors for performance on arthroscopic and laparoscopic surgical simulators in novice surgical trainees. These predictive factors may prove a valuable tool in identifying certain innate potential to becoming a future skilled surgeon that could benefit both surgical residency candidates and program directors alike, while also improving patient care.

Design: Systematic Review.

Results: The initial searches yielded 249 articles. After screening titles/abstracts and implementing inclusion and exclusion criteria, 36 studies were included in the final systematic review.

Conclusions: Current literature suggests that video game experience/frequency, psychomotor and visuospatial aptitude, and perceptual ability are among the most promising predictive indicators of baseline simulator performance. Study limitations include utilization of different standards for characterizing predictive factors. Future studies should aim to utilize standard guidelines for accurate quantification of innate predictive factors. Future research should also focus on utilizing standardized simulator platforms and aptitude tests to allow for more accurate cross-study comparisons and meta-analyses with larger sample sizes.

Keywords: Arthroscopy; Innate skill; Laparoscopy; Medical Knowledge; Novice; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Predictive indicators; Simulator; Systems-Based Practice.