As a busy surgeon, how do you stay current with new technologies or techniques? These days, your main choices for continuing education are real life training or video training. With real life (or in situ) training, you stand next to the trainer in an operating room and directly observe him perform a technique. In this situation, the trainer serves as your “medical mentor” and shares his expertise on a specific procedure. With video training, you are outside of the operating room, sitting with 10 to 50 other doctors in a dedicated room equipped with a broadcasting system. Each training format has its own advantages and disadvantages. So which of the 2 options is the most appropriate?

training environment

→ Real life, in situ training provides a 360° view of a new procedure. As a trainee, you don’t simply observe the procedure, you are part of it. You’re able to comprehend the overall medical intervention by being present for the staff briefing, patient preparation, set up of the OR, staff interaction, team debriefing, etc.

→ With video training, you may be on-site but you are in a separate room. You can observe the whole procedure via high-tech cameras that give a detailed view of what’s happening during the procedure. This gives you space to focus on the proper procedures and uses of tools, with no distraction from what’s happening elsewhere in the OR.

trainer/trainee relationship

→ Real life training provides more of a one-to-one relationship between the trainer and trainee. Generally, you – and perhaps one other trainee – are in the operating room, which allows you to build a more “personal” relationship with the trainer. You can ask questions and even come back later to observe another technique. At the same time, the trainer learns from your comments, questions and feedback, providing mutual growth for all involved.

Learn from your peers

→ Video training uses a one-to-many approach, meaning the trainer demonstrates techniques to groups of up to 50 people. Participants are still able to ask questions, but within the context of the group setting. Interactions with the trainer are thus limited by the size of the group. This kind of training offers a more theoretical approach, ideal to get the extents of a technology or a technique.

costs and transportation

→ The cost of real life training varies from hundreds of euros/dollars to thousands of euros/dollars, and you’ll have to pay to travel to the location. The more cutting-edge a technique, the more expensive it costs. Most trainings last one to two days.

→ Video training is not much cheaper than real life training and usually only includes theoretical teachings. Most trainings last between one and three days.

training philosophy

→ Real life training is based on a peer-to peer approach, where trainees are able to have a personal relationship with the trainer. Thanks to a real life training, participants will be eager to reproduce what they saw and learnt inside the OR, and benefit from all the explanations of the Trainer.

→ Video training employs a one-to-many approach, where trainers educate more trainees at one time. Due to the number of people attending the session, your relationship with the trainer is more formal and less customized.

techniques mastering

Real life training is analogous to the medical practicums you completed years ago. Under the supervision of an experienced professional, you watched them perform real world tasks. You could ask questions and receive immediate feedback from your mentor.

Video training is similar to the lectures you attended in medical school. Factual information is conveyed about a procedure, but you have to practice elsewhere to hone your skills.

evaluation and feedback

→ In the case of real life training, because of the trust that is built during the peer-to-peer relationship, the trainer can give you a more candid assessment of the technology (assets, weaknesses, financial costs).

→ If the video training or trainer is sponsored by a large corporation or biotechnology firm, the trainer must maintain a delicate balance to preserve collaborative and funding relationships. As a result, he is limited in his ability to objectively evaluate the technology.

Certainly, many of you have already attended a video training during a professional conference or workshop. Why not upgrade your training expectations and choose real life training? If you are completely new to a technique, start with a workshop to get a broad understanding of the topic. Then, invest in real life, peer-to-peer training.

Invivox allows specialized medical professionals and surgeons from all around the world to register for in situ training with the best practitioners in their field.

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Crédits photo : (Laura Lee Moreau)

Posted by Ranim Chaban

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