The Successful Implementation of a Laparoscopic Simulation Training Program in the Dominican Republic

Rebecca Fisher, Ogechukwu C. Onuh, Rafiel Vásquez Checo, Pedro Ventura Trejo, Venu Gopal Bangla, James A. Saltsman, Prerna Khetan, Linda P. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Mount Sinai Hospital in New York introduced a laparoscopic surgery simulation center to a public hospital in Santiago, Dominican Republic to determine the feasibility of training programs in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs). Methods: In August 2018, recruitment and preliminary data were collected at the Hospital Jose Maria Cabral y Báez in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The simulation room consists of three simulation stations. Residents were required to practice 1 h/wk guided by a general surgery postgraduate year 3 (PGY3) Mount Sinai resident. Number of hours practiced was self-reported and follow-up data was collected in June 2019. The study endpoints include times on three simulated laparoscopic tasks including peg-transfer, precision cutting, and intracorporeal knot tying. Wilcoxon-signed rank tests were used for statistical analysis. Results: The partnership between hospitals allowed for successful integration into the Dominican general surgery training. Over 10 mo, residents averaged 25 h of practice (range: 8-35 h; SD 9.95 h). In total, 85% of the residents participated in the study (5 postgraduate year 1 [PGY1], 2 postgraduate year 2 [PGY2], and 4 postgraduate year 3 [PGY3]). Resident median simulation times significantly improved for precision cutting (3:49 min versus 2:09 min, P = 0.002) and intracorporeal knot tying (5:20 min versus 2:47 min, P = 0.037). There was neither significant difference in peg-transfer times nor performance between resident years (P = 0.12). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the successful integration of a laparoscopic simulation program into an LMIC surgical resident training program. With commitment from local institutions and external resources, establishing laparoscopic simulation centers are feasible and expandable, thereby allowing general surgery residents in other LMICs, the opportunity to improve their laparoscopic skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Education
  • Global surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Resident training
  • Simulation


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