Dr. Peter Ferguson on CBC News: How a Canadian invention is keeping surgical skills sharp

Dr. Ferguson’s interview aired on CBC News: The National on February 9th. He spoke about his experience with and Division-wide adoption of the PrecisionOS Virtual Reality surgical trainer.

“I was amazed at how realistic it was,” said Dr. Peter Ferguson, the head of orthopedic surgery at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine, who first tried the goggle-based VR system in his living room.

“I went to our faculty and I said this is something that we really have to get on board with.”

The medical school soon bought a dozen of the made-in-Canada virtual reality systems, allowing surgical residents to practice knee replacements, resetting broken legs, or drilling into bone to install supportive screws, all through a simulated process Dr. Ferguson describes as “a blast.”

He sees the system as an opportunity to reduce risk, even beyond COVID-19. For instance, in hospitals where medical students are taught, studies have shown patients are more likely to experience problems post-surgery.

“That’s a fact,” says the surgeon for the largest health network in Canada. “So if we can decrease that incidence of complications by allowing these individuals to become more competent in this low-stakes environment, it will theoretically improve patient outcomes.”

Full article: CBC