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.
Objective—To determine the relationships among traditional and laparoscopic surgical skills, spatial analysis skills, and video gaming proficiency of third-year veterinary students.
Design—Prospective, randomized, controlled study.
Sample—A convenience sample of 29 third-year veterinary students.
Procedures—The students had completed basic surgical skills training with inanimate objects but had no experience with soft tissue, orthopedic, or laparoscopic surgery; the spatial analysis test; or the video games that were used in the study. Scores for traditional surgical, laparoscopic, spatial analysis, and video gaming skills were determined, and associations among these were analyzed by means of Spearman's rank order correlation coefficient (rs).
Results—A significant positive association (rs = 0.40) was detected between summary scores for video game performance and laparoscopic skills, but not between video game performance and traditional surgical skills scores. Spatial analysis scores were positively (rs = 0.30) associated with video game performance scores; however, that result was not significant. Spatial analysis scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic surgical skills scores. Traditional surgical skills scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic skills or spatial analysis scores.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated video game performance of third-year veterinary students was predictive of laparoscopic but not traditional surgical skills, suggesting that laparoscopic performance may be improved with video gaming experience. Additional studies would be required to identify methods for improvement of traditional surgical skills.