Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

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A national needs assessment in simulation based training in vascular surgery

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-11, 15:34 authored by Seán C Maguire, Adrian P O'Callaghan, Oscar TraynorOscar Traynor, Judith StrawbridgeJudith Strawbridge, Dara KavanaghDara Kavanagh

Objectives: The aim of this research was to ascertain the highest need areas for vascular simulation, in order to tailor training for the highest impact.

Design, participants and setting: A needs assessment was conducted according to best practices using the Delphi method. All consultant vascular surgeons/trainers in the training jurisdiction (n=33) were approached through an independent intermediary to contribute and generate a prioritized list of procedures for training. The research team were blinded to participant identities. Three rounds were conducted according to the Delphi process and scored according to the Copenhagen Needs Assessment Formula (CAMES-NAF).

Results: A final list of 34 vascular procedures was selected and prioritized by surgical trainers. Principles of arterial repair and endarterectomy/patching were considered the highest priority. Complex major interventions such as open abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair, carotid endarterectomy, and endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) consistently ranked higher than rarer, such as first rib resection and more basic procedures, such as foam injection for varicose veins. Major lower limb amputations typically ranked lower overall compared to arterial interventions. Surgical trainers generally agreed with the ranking according to the CAMES-NAF. There was some disagreement for a select few procedures such as iliac stenting (which rose 13 places) and open radial artery exposure (which fell 6 places) on subsequent iterations.

Conclusions: Core operative principles and common major operative cases should remain the priority for vascular technical skills training. Other procedures which may be less invasive, but have the potential for major complications should also not be overlooked. In designing simulators the main focus should center on specific skill acquisition for commonly performed major procedures and management of the recognized potential complications. Lower limb amputations are considered adequately taught in clinical practice, or are too challenging to simulate in simulator models apart from cadaveric models.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Maguire SC, O'Callaghan AP, Traynor O, Strawbridge JD, Kavanagh DO. A national needs assessment in simulation based training in vascular surgery. J Surg Educ. 2023;80(7):1039-1045

Publication Date

2 June 2023

PubMed ID



  • Surgical Affairs
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences


Elsevier B.V.


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)