A safe model for implementing live streaming of surgery to improve surgical education

Maya Keeka, Oren Tirosh, Phong Tran


Live surgery broadcasting has had increasing use in medical education, especially in distributed education models. However, there have been several concerns raised regarding its safety and ethics with many surgical colleges banning its use.

Our study aimed to implement a model of live surgery broadcasting of Orthopaedic surgery that utilised its educational benefits whilst addressing the current concerns.

A telemedicine system using a one-way transmission microphone was installed in a tertiary public hospital to securely transmit live Orthopaedic surgery broadcasting from an operating theatre to a lecture theatre holding either medical students, surgical nurses or musculoskeletal physiotherapists. We performed common Orthopaedic operations on patients that were known to the surgeon within their routine time limits. An evaluation survey was administered at the end of each live surgery session using a 5-point Likert scale and open answers. Questions addressed the quality and usefulness of this education model for each discipline.

Five live surgery broadcasting sessions were conducted and 179 survey responses received. 38% of medical students had never attended theatre with 71% having never seen a common Orthopaedic operation. Most surgical nurses and musculoskeletal physiotherapists had also never seen common orthopaedic procedures. There was a statistically significant benefit in the improvement of educational experience gained by live surgery broadcasting for all five sessions (p < 0.01). Over 80% of all cohorts would like to expand this model to include other surgical specialties.

Live surgery broadcasting can successfully provide educational benefit to medical students, surgical nurses and musculoskeletal physiotherapists without infringing upon patient safety.
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