Use of telemedicine in surgical education: A seven-year experience

Antonio Marttos, Jr, Mariana Fernandes Juca Moscardi, Rossano Kepler Alvim Fiorelli, Gerd Pust, Enrique Ginzburg, Carl I Schulman, April Anne Grant, Nicholas Namias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Uniformity in surgical education is challenging because surgical experience is based on rotation assignments. With work hour restrictions, the likelihood of residents being exposed to rare or unusual cases is diminished. Telemedicine may create a new learning paradigm for surgical education and supplement exposure for rare or unusual cases. A retrospective review (2010-2016) of teleconferences involving trauma centers worldwide was conducted. Participating hospitals included centers from underdeveloped countries to first world nations. Trauma cases were discussed among surgeons with different levels of experience and resource availability. Data collected included types of cases, anatomic injury patterns, hospital location, and the number of telemedicine centers and viewers participating. Seventy-three hospitals in 64 cities, spanning 27 countries, participated in 276 telemedicine grand round conferences. Cases discussed included penetrating trauma (47%), blunt trauma (42%), and blast injury (4%). The anatomic regions included were the thorax (28%), abdomen (26%), thoracoabdominal region (13%), neck (7%), and pelvis (6%). The most common injury discussed was vascular in nature (18%), followed by the lung, liver, diaphragm, and heart. The most common vascular lesion was in the aorta (18%), followed by the iliac vessels (8%) and the vena cava (7%). Telemedicine is a valuable tool, allowing the dissemination of diverse experiences. Most cases presented evaluated rare injuries or complex surgical approaches, which are not commonly seen on trauma sites. Learning different approaches in the management of complex trauma will make surgeons more prepared to deal with challenging cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1260
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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