A systematic review of robotic surgery curricula using a contemporary educational framework

Ahmad Omid Rahimi, Katherine Ho, Michelle Chang, Dillon Gasper, Yazan Ashouri, Devi Dearmon-Moore, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Iman Ghaderi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: There has been a rising trend in robotic surgery. Thus, there is demand for a robotic surgery curriculum (RSC) for training surgical trainees and practicing surgeons. There are limited data available about current curricular designs and the extent to which they have incorporated educational frameworks. Our aim was to study the existing robotic surgery curricula using Kern’s 6-step approach in curriculum development. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, PubMed Central, Cochrane, Embase, and Scopus (we searched studies from 2001 to 2021). PRISMA Guidelines was used to guide the search. Curriculum designed for general surgery and its subspecialties were included. Urology and gynecology were excluded. The articles were reviewed by five reviewers. Results: Our review yielded 71 articles, including 39 curricula at 9 different settings. Using Kern’s framework, we demonstrated that the majority of robotic surgery curricula contained all the elements of Kern’s curricular design. However, there were significant deficiencies in important aspects of these curricula i.e., implementation, the quality of assessment tools for measurement of performance and evaluation of the educational value of these interventions. Most institutions used commercial virtual reality simulators (VRS) as the main component of their RSC and 23% of curricula only used VRS. Conclusions: Although majority of these studies contained all the elements of Kern’s framework, there are critical deficiencies in the components of existing curricula. Future curricula should be designed using established educational frameworks to improve the quality of robotic surgery training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2833-2841
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Curriculum design
  • Kern’s framework
  • Robotic surgery curriculum (RSC)
  • Simulation
  • Surgical education
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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