The 2012 International Pediatric Orthopaedic Symposium (IPOS) held in Orlando, Fla., included a new orthopaedic surgical simulation contest. The inaugural “Top Gun” competition, developed and presented by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and the AAOS, was a timed motor skills accuracy contest for IPOS attendees-in-training. The challenges were intended to test fundamental skills related to pediatric orthopaedics, to highlight POSNA’s commitment to surgical simulation, and to foster partnerships in simulation and surgical education.
The competition was the first of its kind held at a national or international orthopaedic meeting. The program structure was similar to surgical skills competitions held by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
“We recognize the increasing importance of surgical simulation training to improve task performance, maximize clinical outcomes, promote patient safety, and optimize orthopaedic training,” said Donald S. Bae, MD, the Top Gun program organizer. “Top Gun was created both as a fun skills competition for residents and fellows and as a means of demonstrating POSNA’s commitment to surgical simulation and education.”
More than 30 U.S. orthopaedic residents and pediatric orthopaedic fellows participated in the 2-hour event, which included four different surgical skills exercises. IPOS course faculty developed and coordinated the motor skills challenges and served as judges.
The timed motor skills exercises tested fundamental skills in core pediatric orthopaedic procedures across several areas. The first exercise tasked participants to reduce a model of a distal radius fracture, apply a well-molded short arm cast, and remove the cast safely with an oscillating saw. The second activity consisted of guide pin placement in a simulated slipped capital femoral epiphysis bone model. The third exercise required insertion of a lumbar pedicle screw in an artificial spine model. Finally, participants tied an arthroscopic knot, which was subsequently tested for load to failure.
The 2012 Top Gun was Joseph D. Stone, MD, who scored the most overall points for accuracy and speed. Ahmed A. Bazzi, DO, took second place, and Carley Vuillermin, MD, finished third.
Participants’ feedback was very positive and support for a repeat program was strong. “Top Gun was a great success, and we are indebted to our dedicated faculty for their time and effort,” said Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH, IPOS co-director. “We also wish to thank our industry partners—Arthrex, Medtronic, and OrthoPediatrics—for their support of this important educational initiative.”
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John M. Flynn, MD, is president-elect of POSNA and will co-chair IPOS 2013.