Surgical training has traditionally revolved around an apprenticeship model: residents observe experienced surgeons in the operating room, and eventually are deemed ready to perform their first procedure. In recent years, simulation-based training has emerged as a potential adjunct to this method, and the value of simulation-based learning has been more widely accepted. Simulation can be a safe, cost-effective, customizable, and easilyaccessible tool for gaining experience in surgery.

This paper will present methods for simulating surgeries involving bone manipulation, with a specific focus on two categories of procedures: temporal bone surgery and mandibular surgery. Section 1 will provide relevant clinical background on the target procedures. Section 2 will describe the algorithms and data structures used for interactive haptic and graphic rendering, specifically targeted toward providing key sources of intraoperative feedback for surgical interaction with bones. Section 3 will present the results of a study which evaluates the construct validity of our system (its ability to discriminate expert surgeons from novices). Section 4 will describe features of our simulation environment that do not exist in traditional, cadaver-based training labs. Section 5 will discuss our approach to automatically evaluating a trainee’s performance in our environment. We begin with a brief description of the relevant surgical procedures.

We begin with a brief description of the relevant surgical procedures.