UP-82 Are video gamers better Urologists? The impact of video games on surgical skill in flexible ureteroscopy
Thursday June 27, 2019 from

Bruce Gao, Canada



University of Toronto


Are video gamers better Urologists? The impact of video games on surgical skill in flexible ureteroscopy

Bruce Gao1, Suzy Melody Djuimo1, Nuley Seo2, Brian Carrillo1, Jason Y. Lee1, Monica Farcas1.

1Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; 2Undergraduate Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Introduction: Popular video games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Mario are taking society by storm. Disturbing negative correlations with video gameplay in adolescents include lower grades and aggressive emotions and actions.[1] However, studies have suggested positive effects of video games on laparoscopy.[2] Although similar effects may be true for flexible ureteroscopy (fURS), it has not yet been shown.

Methods: Urology residents (PGY 1–3) were enrolled. Video gamers were defined as greater than 3 hours per week at the highest point of the participant’s gaming history.[3][4] A tablet game (Cube Runner ©) was played to compare baseline video-gaming skills. All participants then performed ureteroscopic tasks using a 3D printed anatomical kidney model from a patient CT scan. Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) and performance on multi-institutionally validated fURS tasks were recorded (figure 1).[5]

Results: 13 urology residents were enrolled in the study with 3 urology residents excluded due to previous simulator use. There were no significant demographical or fURS experience differences between gamers (n = 6) and non-gamers (n = 4) (table 1). Gamers had significantly higher previous gaming experience (gamers 15.67 vs non-gamers 0.75 hrs/wk; p=0.001) and demonstrated a trend towards better performance on CubeRunner (gamers 767.40 vs non-gamers 402.60; p=0.153) (table 1). Gamers demonstrated a significantly higher global assessment score in fURS compared to non-video gamers (gamers 24.33 vs non-gamers 20.75; p=0.045) (table 2). In addition, video gamers were significantly better as assists (gamers 3.33 vs non-gamers 2.75; p=0.014) and had higher instrument knowledge (gamers 3.67 vs non-gamers 3; p=0.025). There was no difference in fURS task scores, timing, or other OSATS domains.

Conclusions: Video gamers may perform better globally in fURS than non-gamers. Additional participants are required and currently being enrolled.


[1] Gentile DA, Lynch PJ, Linder JR, et al: The effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility, aggressive behaviors, and school performance. J. Adolesc. 2004; 27: 5–22.
[2] Glassman D, Yiasemidou M, Ishii H, et al: Effect of Playing Video Games on Laparoscopic Skills Performance: A Systematic Review. J. Endourol. 2016; 30: 146–152.
[3] Shane MD, Pettitt BJ, Morgenthal CB, et al: Should surgical novices trade their retractors for joysticks? Videogame experience decreases the time needed to acquire surgical skills. In: Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques.Vol 22. Surg Endosc 2008; pp 1294–1297.
[4] Rosser JC, Lynch PJ, Cuddihy L, et al: The impact of video games on training surgeons in the 21st century. Arch. Surg. 2007; 142: 181–186.
[5] Argun OB, Chrouser K, Chauhan S, et al: Multi-institutional validation of an OSATS for the assessment of cystoscopic and ureteroscopic skills. J. Urol. 2015; 194: 1098–1106.

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