Simulated Surgical Skills Program


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simulated surgical skills program - photo 1

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Simulated surgical skills program - photo 3


The Simulated Surgical Skills Program (SSSP), funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Health and Ageing, developed, implemented and assessed a new laparoscopic surgical skills training curriculum.

  • Assessment of surgical simulation equipment for teaching surgical trainees commenced in 2009 in South Australia and subsequently at sites in Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales and most recently in Queensland.
  • In addition, a mobile simulation vehicle was outfitted with surgical simulators in 2010 to increase participation from metropolitan Sydney and rural areas of NSW.



Assessing the effectiveness of the simulation training was designed across 4 separated, but related, subsections:

  1. the acquisition and maintenance of skills
  2. low versus high fidelity simulation equipment
  3. surgical simulation versus traditional training
  4. the effect of fatigue on surgical simulation skills.

Participants included 5 cohorts:

  • final year medical students
  • interns
  • postgraduate year
  • Surgical Education and Training (SET) 1/2 Trainees
  • experienced surgeons (5+ years).

The project used:

  • a low fidelity simulator - Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS), developed by SAGES USA
  • a high fidelity simulator - LapSIM™, developed by Surgical Science Sweden


This research program ran over four years and

  • produced a curriculum for laparoscopic simulation training for use in the Australian health care system.
  • research is continuing into simulation training support and delivery to non traditional  training positions utilising mobile units.


Research, Audit and Academic Surgery Division
199 Ward Street
North Adelaide SA 5006 Australia

Telephone: +61 8 8219 0900
Fax: +61 8 8219 0999