Interval vs massed training: how best do we teach surgery?
While study participants showed significant improvement in technical skill using a myringotomy with ventilation tube insertion simulator between practice and final trials, we found no difference between massed vs interval training paradigms. Possible explanations include too low a sample size and relative ease of the procedure. More research is needed to determine the best methods to teach surgery on simulators, to assess retention of the learned skill, and to evaluate global ratings of technical skill using such tools as the OSATS. Students did feel more confident in performing the task if they were trained under the interval protocol.