State of Surgical Video Report

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Today, many resources for surgical videos are accessible online, each with its own purpose and intended audience. The goal of this study is to ensure that the modern surgical student and teacher are aware of 1) which resources are available, 2) their intended purposes, and 3) their value as an educational tool.

Traditional surgical training depends upon physicians’ exposure to live case presentations during their residency and fellowship. The onset of surgical video education in the 1980s has gradually shifted this reality. Even today, however, a significant portion of surgeons and residents self-report that current methods are insufficient to train well rounded, fully competent surgeons.

The most recent data indicates that 51.4 million surgeries were performed in the United States in 2010. This is a 7.08% increase from the previous year. As the volume of surgeries rapidly grows, their variety and complexity continue to expand as well. It is increasingly difficult for residents to gain exposure to a sufficiently diverse range of cases. Similarly, residents often lack the opportunity to adequately train for low volume procedures, especially in the case of trauma, due to their limited first-hand exposure.

High quality surgical videos offer a major opportunity for advancing surgical training. They provide a more instructive and detailed medium for surgeons to educate, collaborate, and communicate. They can also serve as a unique resource for residents and students to view both rare and common procedures with unlimited repetition, significantly augmenting their fleeting experiences in the operating room and their breadth of surgical exposure. Similarly, video allows attending surgeons to observe a theoretically unlimited number of cases, offering them access to methods that they might never have the opportunity to see first-hand. Moreover, it provides them with a means to fastidiously explain their methods to both students and peers, without the time and focus constraints of the operating room.

The extensive volume of surgical videos readily available online makes it difficult for the medical community to locate professional, high quality, reliable academic sources. The purpose of this report is to describe the current state of surgical video in order to aid attendings, residents, medical schools, and other institutions in finding the best resources to fit their needs.

Link to full report:

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