Delivering safer and quality assured surgical training, by replicating the airline industry
As the role of MedTech in surgery continues to expand, development of standardised and validated training programmes is becoming increasingly important. We compare current surgical training with aviation training. A systematic literature review identified significant similarities between robotic training curricula and pilot training. Both undergo basic training before proceeding to advanced training. Aviation training methods include classroom instruction, e-learning and practical training, in both the aircraft and simulation training devices. Both surgeon and pilot training include technical and procedural instruction as well as training in non-technical skills such as decision making, leadership and communication. However, there is more regulation in aviation, with international standards for training curricula, simulation devices and instructors/trainers that are legally binding. Continuous learning with re-qualification with benchmarked high stakes tests are also mandatory in aviation. Surgeons and pilots’ roles have many fundamental similarities. Both work with complex technology requiring high levels of skills, within working environments with high physiological and psychological stress levels. Adopting established and proven aviation methods of assessment and regulation could help surgical training become more effective and ultimately safer.