Simulation in medical education started with the widespread use of standardized patients and animal laboratories. Pigs are widely used for learning vascular and non vascular interventional procedures guided by fluoroscopy, endoscopy, or cross-sectional imaging.
Some of the earliest technologies used in Interventional Radiology simulation training were computer-based training modules such as Radiology Society of North America’s Medical Imaging Resource Centre and AuntMinnie.com’s case of the day. Nowadays, augmentative reality simulators such as the VISTLab endovascular simulator by Mentice and computer assisted mannequins are available.
Simulation training has the potential to revolutionize and shorten clinical skills training in IR education. Lots of simulators are available on the market today, which can be used to train a variety of skills. Commercially available simulators have been widely assessed, but evidence is still lacking that proves that training on them improves clinical performance.
In the face of medical education’s resistance to change, further research proving educational validity and the utility of simulation in training can aid institutional bodies in the push for widespread implementation. Interventional Radiology should follow in the pioneering footsteps of other medical specialties and develop simulation training curricula and training centers for interventional radiologists of all skills levels to access.
With increased public awareness of the shortcomings of the Master- Apprentice model of medical education, now more than ever is the time for interventional radiologists to embrace simulation training.
- Okuda Y, Bond W, Bonfante G, et al. National growth in simulation training within emergency medicine residency programs, 2003–2008. Acad Emerg Med 2008; 15:1113–1116.
- Gould D, Patel A, Becker G, et al. SIR/RSNA/CIRSE Joint Medical Simulation Task Force strategic plan: executive summary. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2007; 30:551–554.