22 Mar Medical Students Sucessfully Acquired Surgical Skills with AI Tutoring
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ali M. Fazlollahi, MSc, McGill Medicine Class of 2025
Neurosurgical Simulation and Artificial Intelligence Learning Centre
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: COVID-19 disrupted hands on surgical exposure of medical students and academic centres around the world had to quickly adapt to teaching technical skills remotely. At the same time, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) allowed researchers at the Neurosurgical Simulation and Artificial Intelligence Learning Centre to develop an intelligent tutoring system that evaluates performance and provides high-quality personalized feedback to students. Because this is the first AI system capable of providing surgical instructions in simulation, we sought to evaluate its effectiveness compared with learning from expert human instructors who provided coaching remotely.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that the students learning from the AI system acquired transferrable skills that were significantly higher compared with the control group that received no instruction. In addition, the AI-trained students performed better compared with those learning through remote instruction from an expert. Blinded ratings by the experts also demonstrated that learning from the intelligent tutor had qualitatively improved medical student’s performance.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our findings suggest that learning basic surgical skills in a remote and simulated setting was more effective with metric-based assessment and formative feedback by the AI tutor. This is likely because this system provided instructions on more quantifiable criteria and measurable goals compared with the remote experts.
MedialResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should compare the effectiveness of real-time instruction between the AI system and instructors, and see if the skills acquired translate to better surgical outcomes. It would also be useful for medical schools to enrich their curriculum with surgical simulation opportunities that also provide formative feedback from AI systems. Finally, intelligent tutoring systems may provide a useful pedagogical solution for surgical training in remote and resource limited regions.
Fazlollahi AM, Bakhaidar M, Alsayegh A, et al. Effect of Artificial Intelligence Tutoring vs Expert Instruction on Learning Simulated Surgical Skills Among Medical Students: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e2149008. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.49008
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