Virtual reality in residents training

Mildred Vanessa López Cabrera, Jorge Eugenio Valdez García


Training in residency programs is highly competitive, it requires the formation of competent physicians that achieve the performance standards that were declared for their technical skills, attitudes and interpersonal abilities. The use of simulation and technology on the medical education has increased considerably. Particularly in ophthalmology the simulators used are: live models from animal or cadavers, mannequins, wet laboratories, simulated patients, part-task moles, laser or surgical models, and more recently, virtual reality (VR). VR places a person in a simulated environment that has a specific sense of self-location, where the participant interacts with the objects within the setting. Teaching with VR refers to the use of the available resources in technology and visualization of structures to improve the educational experience of medical students, residents and physicians in professional continuous development programs. Several authors highlight the benefits of assessing trainees with the tools, they argue that the key contribution of this model is in the formative assessment. Rather than evaluating and putting a score on student’s grades, VR provides a powerful experience for the acquisition of skills. A conclusion is the need to develop studies to document the effects that it has on knowledge, skills and behaviors, and to patient related outcomes.