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Technology Teaching In The OR

May 17, 2011, 6:10 PM by Kelli Grant

Technology Teaching In The OR
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Physicians are constantly brushing up on their skills and learning new techniques from each other.
In fact, it's common for surgeons to travel from one hospital to another teaching and learning. But that education has been taken to another level, one that includes, "Lights.  Camera.  Action."

It's the first surgery of its kind; cameras are in the operating room and the surgeon is the teacher.

It’s not unusual to find Sanford Urogynecologist Dr. Kevin Benson correcting a woman's bladder problems.

But this operation is unique.  That's thanks to a production crew sharing it live with an audience on the other side of the country.

“For me, what's unique about this is how we can change how people learn,” Benson said.

Instead of bringing surgeons to Sanford to teach them hands on, Benson is using technology as his teaching tool.

“There will also be laptop interfaces where those listening to the surgery will be able to ask questions, will be able to interact and through different methods such as texting, through live messaging and through direct phone line conversation,” Benson said.

Surgeons in New Jersey are sitting in on this surgery in the comfort of their own hospital. But Benson says this kind of technology helps him teach underserved physicians around the world in places like South America.

“The technology and the accessibility for physicians around the world is great. I think that we don't often realize or take for granted how easy it is in the United Stated to become trained and to do things because we can simply hop on a convenient flight, talk to colleagues. And so in more remote areas that is just not possible,” Benson said.

Benson calls this type of teaching two-way because he too learns something in process.

“So just like taking a course on the internet would have been completely unheard of 30 years ago, to learn surgery by interacting with someone, it's just another level of commitment and another way of incorporating new technologies in a quicker fashion,” Benson said.

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