Development, outcome and costs of a simulation-based neurosurgery bootcamp at the national level

Saqib Kamran Bakhshi, Rida Ahmad, Asma Altaf Hussain Merchant, Ali Aahil Noorali, Komal Abdul Rahim, Namra Qadeer Shaikh, Noreen Afzal, Maryam Pyar Ali Lakhdir, Muhammad Shahzad Shamim, Adil Hussain Haider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: With a growing interest in simulation-based training to develop clinical proficiency, bootcamps have been utilized for imparting basic skills to medical trainees. While considerable research on the topic exists in high income countries, no such neurosurgical teaching standards have been employed in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to explore the effectiveness of first low-cost, multi-center regional neurosurgery bootcamp in South Asia. Twenty-two participants attended the bootcamp and practiced 12 hands-on skills over the course of 2 days. Burr-holes and craniotomies were done on 3D printed skulls. Lumbar drain insertion was practiced on a purpose-built lumbar puncture mannequin. For laminectomy, we used an in-house designed simulation. The modified Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills tool was utilized for skills Assessment. Feedback from faculty and residents was collected via a standard 5-point Likert scale. Results: Only one participant (4.55%) had previously attended a neurosurgical skills workshop. Comparison of outcomes on 1st and 3rd attempts of cranial and spinal skills showed a significant improvement in all 14 domains assessed (p <0.05). Positive feedback was received ranging from 3.9 up to 4.8 on a 5-point Likert scale. Overall cost per participant culminated to $145, significantly lower than previously reported data. Conclusion: Our findings report the effectiveness of sustainable, low-cost training models which can be easily reproduced elsewhere. These indigenously designed simulators can be modified for variable difficulty level and serve as an effective educational strategy in improving learners’ skills, knowledge and confidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number896
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Neurosurgery
  • Residency
  • Simulation-based training


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