Simulating Surgical Skills in Animals: Systematic Review, Costs & Acceptance Analyses

Konstantin D. Bergmeister, Martin Aman, Anne Kramer, Thilo L. Schenck, Otto Riedl, Simeon C. Daeschler, Oskar C. Aszmann, Helga Bergmeister, Mohammad Golriz, Arianeb Mehrabi, Gabriel Hundeshagen, Perenlei Enkhbaatar, Michael P. Kinsky, Bruno K. Podesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Modern surgery demands high-quality and reproducibility. Due to new working directives, resident duty hours have been restricted and evidence exists that pure on-the-job training provides insufficient exposure. We hypothesize that supplemental simulations in animal models provide a realistic training to augment clinical experiences. This study reviews surgical training models, their costs and survey results illustrating academic acceptance. Methods: Animal models were identified by literature research. Costs were analyzed from multiple German and Austrian training programs. A survey on their acceptance was conducted among faculty and medical students. Results: 915 articles were analyzed, thereof 91 studies described in-vivo animal training models, predominantly for laparoscopy (30%) and microsurgery (24%). Cost-analysis revealed single-training costs between 307€ and 5,861€ depending on model and discipline. Survey results illustrated that 69% of the participants had no experience, but 66% would attend training under experienced supervision. Perceived public acceptance was rated intermediate by medical staff and students (4.26; 1–low, 10 high). Conclusion: Training in animals is well-established and was rated worth attending in a majority of a representative cohort to acquire key surgical skills, in light of reduced clinical exposure. Animal models may therefore supplement the training of tomorrow's surgeons to overcome limited hands-on experience until virtual simulations can provide such educational tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number570852
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Sep 30 2020


  • animal model
  • cost analysis
  • surgical education
  • surgical training
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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