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Association of gender and specialty interest with video-gaming, three-dimensional spatial analysis, and entry-level laparoscopic skills in third-year veterinary students

Heather R. BraggBluePearl Specialty Partners, 11950 W 110th St, Overland Park, KS 66210.

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Heather A. Towle MillardBluePearl Specialty Partners, 11950 W 110th St, Overland Park, KS 66210.

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Ralph P. MillardBluePearl Specialty Partners, 11950 W 110th St, Overland Park, KS 66210.

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Peter D. ConstableOffice of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Lyn J. FreemanDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether gender or interest in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine or surgery was associated with video-gaming, 3-D spatial analysis, or entry-level laparoscopic skills in third-year veterinary students.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE A convenience sample of 68 (42 female and 26 male) third-year veterinary students.

PROCEDURES Participants completed a survey asking about their interest in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine or surgery. Subsequently, participants’ entry-level laparoscopic skills were assessed with 3 procedures performed in box trainers, their video-gaming skills were tested with 3 video games, and their 3-D spatial analysis skills were evaluated with the Purdue University Visualization of Rotations Spatial Test. Scores were assigned for laparoscopic, video-gaming, and 3-D spatial analysis skills.

RESULTS Significantly more female than male students were interested in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine (23/42 vs 7/26), and significantly more male than female students were interested in pursuing specialty certification in surgery (19/26 vs 19/42). Males had significantly higher video-gaming skills scores than did females, but spatial analysis and laparoscopic skills scores did not differ between males and females. Students interested in pursuing specialty certification in surgery had higher video-gaming and spatial analysis skills scores than did students interested in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine, but laparoscopic skills scores did not differ between these 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE For this group of students, neither gender nor interest in specialty certification in internal medicine versus surgery was associated with entry-level laparoscopy skills.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether gender or interest in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine or surgery was associated with video-gaming, 3-D spatial analysis, or entry-level laparoscopic skills in third-year veterinary students.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE A convenience sample of 68 (42 female and 26 male) third-year veterinary students.

PROCEDURES Participants completed a survey asking about their interest in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine or surgery. Subsequently, participants’ entry-level laparoscopic skills were assessed with 3 procedures performed in box trainers, their video-gaming skills were tested with 3 video games, and their 3-D spatial analysis skills were evaluated with the Purdue University Visualization of Rotations Spatial Test. Scores were assigned for laparoscopic, video-gaming, and 3-D spatial analysis skills.

RESULTS Significantly more female than male students were interested in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine (23/42 vs 7/26), and significantly more male than female students were interested in pursuing specialty certification in surgery (19/26 vs 19/42). Males had significantly higher video-gaming skills scores than did females, but spatial analysis and laparoscopic skills scores did not differ between males and females. Students interested in pursuing specialty certification in surgery had higher video-gaming and spatial analysis skills scores than did students interested in pursuing specialty certification in internal medicine, but laparoscopic skills scores did not differ between these 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE For this group of students, neither gender nor interest in specialty certification in internal medicine versus surgery was associated with entry-level laparoscopy skills.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Towle Millard (towledvm1@gmail.com).