Multicenter Advanced Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship Prep Surgical Simulation Course with 3D Printed High-Fidelity Models

Brian Chang, Allison Powell, Susan Ellsperman, Daniel Wehrmann, April Landry, Noel Jabbour, Steven Goudy, David Zopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the effect of 3-dimensional (3D)–printed surgical simulators used in an advanced pediatric otolaryngology fellowship preparatory course on trainee education. Study Design: Quasi-experimental pre/postsurvey. Setting: Multicenter collaborative course conducted at a contract research organization prior to a national conference. Subjects and Methods: A 5-station, 7-simulator prep course was piloted for 9 pediatric otolaryngology fellows and 17 otolaryngology senior residents, with simulators for airway graft carving, microtia ear framework carving, and cleft lip/palate repair. Prior to the course, trainees were provided educational materials electronically along with presurveys rating confidence, expertise, and attitude around surgical simulators. In October 2018, surgeons engaged in simulation stations with direction from 2 attending faculty per station, then completed postsurveys for each simulator. Results: Statistically significant increases (P <.05) in self-reported confidence (average, 53%; range, 18%-80%) and expertise (average, 68%; range, 9%-95%) were seen across all simulators, corresponding to medium to large effect sizes as measured by Cohen’s d statistic (0.41-1.71). Positive attitudes around 3D printing in surgical education also demonstrated statistically significant increases (average, 10%; range, 8%-13%). Trainees commented positively on gaining such broad exposure, although consistently indicated a preference for more practice time during the course. Conclusion: We demonstrate the benefit of high-fidelity, 3D-printed simulators in exposing trainees to advanced procedures, allowing them hands-on practice in a zero-risk environment. In the future, we hope to refine this course design, develop standardized tools to assess their educational value, and explore opportunities for integration into use in milestone assessment and accreditation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-665
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • airway reconstruction
  • cleft lip
  • cleft palate
  • fellowship training
  • microtia framework
  • pediatric otolaryngology
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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