Objective: To predict readiness for laparoscopic ovariectomy of live dogs on the basis of performance on a high-fidelity laparoscopic abdominal simulator and to determine interrater reliability of the assessment. Study design: Experimental study. Sample population: Seventeen fourth-year veterinary students. Methods: After a standardized laparoscopic training course, each participant performed a laparoscopic ovariectomy with a simulator. This performance was scored in real time by two evaluators using a rubric. Participants achieving a score of 112 of 160 performed a laparoscopic ovariectomy in a live dog, supervised by an instructor in the room. Two evaluators scored video recordings of each procedure using the rubric. Participants' opinions about the simulator were collected with a survey. Results: All participants scored above the threshold (range, 126-151) and successfully completed laparoscopic ovariectomy in a live dog, with an average of 10 of 17 participants requiring verbal guidance and 5 of 17 participants requiring intervention from the instructor. Interrater concordance was excellent for the rubrics used to score performance on the simulator (R = 0.91) and in vivo (R = 0.81). All participants agreed that the simulator should be used to assess trainee readiness prior to surgery in a live dog. Conclusion: Participants achieving a score of at least 126 of 160 on the simulator were able to perform a laparoscopic ovariectomy in a live dog under supervision. The scoring system for the simulator had excellent interrater concordance. Clinical significance: This simulator and scoring system can be used in laparoscopic training programs to assess readiness for progression to the operative setting.
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