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Virtual FLS Instruction: A National Pilot on behalf of the ACOG Simulation Working Group

Purpose: To assess the need, feasibility and participant experience of a virtual Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) training program for obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) residents.


Background: As of May 2020, graduating OB/GYN residents are required to pass FLS for board certification. This mandate forced programs to quickly develop curricula with little guidance and many programs still lack formalized FLS training.



Expert laparoscopic surgeons (coaches) and OB/GYN residents (trainees) were recruited through email.  Coaches and trainees registered for sessions through an online scheduling app.  Coach and trainee pairs were provided contact emails and a videoconference link.  Participants completed pre- and post-implementation surveys.



Between February and April 2021, 40 residents and 15 coaches participated in ninety 30-minute sessions.  Residents had a 75% response rate to the pre-survey and a 33% post-survey response rate.  80% of coaches completed a post-survey.  12 (40%) of the trainees were third years, 18 (60%) reported no institutional FLS training and none had passed FLS.  Following the pilot, 5 (38%) of trainees reported passing the exam.  50% of coaches did not feel they were as effective instructing in the virtual platform.  All participants reported high satisfaction with the program, citing ease of scheduling, networking and access to experts.  Areas for improvement included better set-up instructions, longer sessions and continuity between trainee/coach.



We describe the first national pilot program in FLS training in OB/GYN.  Virtual instruction and curricula are promising modalities to offer residents exposure to training that may be limited at their home institution.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2022, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Patient Care, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, Simulation, Minimally Invasive Surgery,

General Information

Resident,Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Patient Care,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Clinical Focus
Minimally Invasive Surgery,

Author Information

Anne Arnold, EdD, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Noah Rindos, MD; Shana Miles, MD, PhD; Nicole Donnellan, MD

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