One of the greatest challenges of pediatric neurosurgery training is balancing the training needs of the trainee against patient safety and parental expectation. The traditional “see one, do one, teach one” approach to training is no longer acceptable in pediatric neurosurgery. The authors have developed the baby Modeled Anatomical Replica for Training Young Neurosurgeons (babyMARTYN). The development of this new training model is described, its feasibility as a training tool is tested, and a new approach of integrating simulation into day-to-day training is suggested.
In part 1 (development), a prototype skull was developed using novel model-making methods. In part 2 (validation), 18 trainee neurosurgeons (at various stages in training) performed the following 4 different procedures: 1) evacuation of a posterior fossa hematoma; 2) pterional craniotomy; 3) tapping of the fontanelle to obtain a CSF specimen; and 4) external ventricular drain insertion. Completion of the procedural stages (scored using a curriculum-based checklist) was used to test the feasibility of babyMARTYN as a training tool. Likert scale–based questionnaires were used to assess the model for face and content validity. Training benefit was assessed using pre- and posttraining ratings on the Physician Performance Diagnostic Inventory Scale (PPDIS). To determine the significance of improvement in median PPDIS score, the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test was performed.
In part 1 (development), the model was successfully developed with good fidelity. In part 2 (validation), the validation data demonstrated feasibility, face, and content validity. The PPDIS score significantly increased for all groups after babyMARTYN training, thereby indicating a potential future role for babyMARTYN in the training of pediatric neurosurgeons.
This recent collaborative neurosurgical development by the Royal College of Surgeons of England is designed to supplement current neurosurgical training. High-fidelity, portable, operation-specific models enable preoperative planning and have the potential to be used in an operating room environment prior to novel operations. A “see one, simulate one, do one” approach for pediatric neurosurgical training using babyMARTYN is suggested.