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iTOM – Testing of Innovative Training Concepts for the Operative Medicine

iTOM – Testing of Innovative Training Concepts for the Operative Medicine

iTOM was a transnational research project at ISTT in cooperation with Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre (JUMISC) in Spain. The project was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). iTOM aimed to develop and validate a systematic training concept that optimizes the surgical, technological und pedagogic-didactical competences of surgeons to prepare them for supervising trainees in training courses, especially on simulation systems. 


The range of surgical training courses is very diverse in quality. Until today, there is no standardized training concept to prepare surgeons for supervising surgical trainees. Training surgeons who are chosen because of their surgical expertise, often lack necessary pedagogic-didactical competences. However, young surgeons need adequate feedback on their performance and improvements – since only a realistic evaluation of their actual performance ensures patient safety.

Course of Action

First, the ISTT psychologists and pedagogues interviewed surgeons about their requirements and ideas concerning training concepts and standard procedures. Furthermore, the scientists observed surgical procedures in the operating room (OR) and participate in surgical trainings. In order to identify the necessary technological competences of surgeons, the scientists analyzed recent developments and concepts in medical engineering. JUMISC supported the project with its experience in organizing surgical trainings and its network of Spanish surgeons. Based on these analyses, the iTOM team developed innovative training modules for the surgical, technological and pedagogic-didactical training and tested them internationally in the ISTT training OR and the JUMISC training ORs. The trainers trained in the iTOM trial applied their newly gained competences in 5 workshops at ISTT and JUMISC.


All project aims could be reached thanks to the dedicated work of all members of staff at ISTT and JUMISC and thanks to the support of the two clinical partners University Hospital Leipzig and Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz in Madrid. The requirements for a training concept were analyzed and subsequently a “Train-the-Trainer” (TTT) concept was developed. This TTT concept was tested in two trials series in Germany and Spain, respectively, with lumbar spine surgery and ENT surgery as settings. The subsequent evaluation showed that the training concept was well accepted and perceived as useful by the participating surgeons. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated that the participating surgeons improved their pedagogic-didactic and technological competences significantly. The results were presented and published on international conferences.

Runtime: September 1, 2012 – December 31, 2014
Project leadership: Prof. Dr. Werner Korb
Members of staff: Dr. Luis Bernal, Dr. Norman Geißler, Anke Hoffmeier, Susanne Kotzsch, Maria Voigtländer

Project News

  • iTOM workshop surgical training

    Review: iTOM workshop surgical training


    In the workshop Surgical Training on December 3, 2014 at ISTT, we presented results from our ESF funded project iTOM (Testing of Innovative Training Concepts for the Operative Medicine).

    In the past...


  • Abschluss der Train-the-Trainer-Studien

    Train-the-Trainer trial series completed


    The trial series of project iTOM („Testing of Innovative Training Concepts for the Operative Medicine”) have been completed on November 7, 2014, with a workshop on ENT surgery at the Jesús Usón...


  • Train-the-Trainer-Kurs „Technologische Kompetenz“ in Madrid

    Train-the-Trainer course "Technological Competences"


    On October 24/25, 2014, the iTOM („Testing of Innovative Training Concepts for the Operative Medicine”) project team conducted another Train-the-Trainer trial for ENT surgery in Madrid....


Presenations and Abstracts


  • Geißler, N., Machno, A., Pagador Carrasco, J.. Lu Sánchez Peralta, L.F., Hoffmeier, A., Kotzsch, S., Sánchez Margallo, F.M., Strauss, G., Korb, W. (2014). Evaluation of a technological competence training for a navigated functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) surgery. In: International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, Jg. 9, H. Suppl 1, 339–340.
  • Geißler, N., Machno, A., Hoffmeier, A., Strauss, G., Korb, W. (2014). Konzeption und Validierung eines klinischen Risikomanagementtrainings für Chirurgen bei einer navigierten funktionalen endoskopischen Sinusoperation (FESS). 7. Medizintechnik- und Ergonomiekongress (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Geißler, N., Kotzsch, S., Machno, A., Hoffmeier, A., Stöbel Richter, Y. (2014). Verbesserung der pädagogisch-didaktischen Kompetenz von HNO-Chirurgen durch Train-The-Trainer-Kurse unter Einbeziehung von Schauspielpatienten. Tagung der deutschen Gesellschaft für medizinische Psychologie (Greifswald, Germany)
  • Geißler, N., Machno, A., Sánchez-Peralta, L.F., Pagador, J. B., Sánchez-Margallo, F.M., Korb, W. (2014). Improvement of surgical training through risk analysis – a new approach for spinal surgeons training. Human Factors and Ergonomic Society European Chapter (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Geißler, N. & Kotzsch, S. (2014). Development and Evaluation of Train-The-Trainer courses for surgical trainer. European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning (in education and professional practice), (Nikosia, Cyprus)
  • Kotzsch, S., Hoffmeier, A., Niksch, L., Bernal, L., Machno, A., Sánchez Peralta, L. F., Pagador Carrasco, J. B., Sánchez Margallo, F. M., Geißler, N. (2014). Developing and testing of a basic Train the Trainer (TTT) concept for the operative medicine. Association for Medical Education in Europe (Milan, Italy)


  • Korb, W., Geißler, N., Strauss, G. (2013). A concept for a new working and training culture for CAS research teams. Computerassisted Radiology and Surgery (Heidelberg, Germany)
  • Kotzsch, S., Geißler, N., Hoffmeier, A., Korb, W. (2013). Evaluation of an innovative scenario based training concept in spine surgery. Poster bei der Association of Medical Education (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Geißler, N., Machno, A., Hoffmeier A., Kotzsch S., Korb, W. (2013) Technological competence training for surgeons to avoid unintentional automation consequences. Human Factors and Ergonomic Society European Chapter (Turin, Italy)
  • Machno, A., Geißler, N., Kotzsch, S., Hoffmeier, A., Bernal Vera, L.E., Korb, W. (2013). Technologische Kompetenz im OP – Train the Trainer Kurskonzept mit chirurgischen Simulatoren. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Computer- und Roboterassistierte Chirurgie (Innsbruck, Austria)
  • Geißler, N., Hoffmeier, A., Kotzsch, S., Korb, W. (2013) Feedbacktraining für Chirurgen in szenariobasierten Simulationen In: Berth, H. (Hrsg.) (2013) in balance. Abstracts zur Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Psychologie 2013. Lengerich: Pabst-Publishers. 91–93, ISBN 978-3-89967-880-2. (Dresden, Germany)
  • Geißler, N., Kotzsch, S., Andrack, B., Korb, W. (2013). Development and evaluation of a scenario based simulation training in surgery. In: 2nd Surgicon, Second World Congress on Surgical Training 2013, Surgicon Foundation Gothenburg, Sweden 213–214, ISBN: 978-91-977947-2-5.
  • Geißler, N., Machno A., Kotzsch S., Hoffmeier A., Strauß G., Korb, W. (2013) Technological competence for surgeons – results of an international study. Biomed Tech 2013; 58 (Suppl. 1), Walter de Gruyter · Berlin · Boston. DOI 10.1515/bmt-2013-4410
Letzte Änderung: 16.1.2015
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