Cataract Master Learning Simulator

Cataract Master Learning Simulator Helps Prepare for Real Patients

The Cataract Master is a simulation-based computer program designed to teach the cognitive aspects of phacoemulsification cataract surgery. In addition to teaching the basics, this tool emphasizes the range of complications that can arise as well as those aspects where surgeons are most prone to errors. The ideal learning tool for any cataract surgeon seeking to improve their understanding of how to avoid and manage surgical complications, the Cataract Master offers important guidance by expert surgeons each step of the way. This program offers more advanced training by simulating the cognitive decision-making that must occur during various surgical situations, thus bridging the gap between wet lab training and live surgery. Practice anytime.

The Cataract Master features:

A Comprehensive Decision-Tree Phaco Surgery Simulator

Surgical Animations and Example Videos

Expert Video Discussion on Each Surgical Phase

Pop-Up Questions

Full Help and Reference

Developed by Bonnie An Henderson, MD, Adam Neaman, PhD, John Loewenstein, MD.

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Cataract Master™ is a unique computer based simulation designed to teach the cognitive aspects of phacoemulsification cataract surgery. It is an “immersion story” curriculum that puts trainees in realistic situations, requiring them to make decisions. The consequences of these decisions play out in animation. The program provides help and advice to users through videos of expert cataract surgeons sharing their experiences. More traditional teaching materials (video clips of steps of actual phaco surgery and text) are readily available via the help screens. The curriculum is divided into ten modules, each representing a major part of the phacoemulsification procedure.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, has released a new system for learning how to perform and deal with the various issues that arise during phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Cataract Master is an interactive simulator that presents students with various real-world scenarios, has them make decisions on the necessary steps, and plays out the chosen scenario to demonstrate the process and the end results. Videos, including practicing surgeons discussing various nuances of the procedure, are presented in the simulator where they are relevant. The system was developed by leading ophthalmologists, including the director of Harvard Medical School’s Ophthalmology Residency Training Program.

Here’s an excellent demo video presenting the Cataract Master:

No video playback capabilities, please download the video below

Computer –based simulation technology has been used in medical training since the early 2000s, but these tools often did not take into account the hundreds of decision-making requirements that arise during surgery. The Cataract Master is different in that it offers a self-guided, self-correcting curriculum that requires trainees to make decisions based on realistic surgical situations. The simulator, which can be accessed from any personal computer, contains realistic animations along with videos of actual surgeries – complete with expert discussions of each phase of the procedure. The interactive program includes frequent pop-up questions relating to the various surgical steps, with user answers then animated on-screen. If the user makes a serious error, videos provide immediate feedback explaining how the problem occurred, what to do to fix it, and how to avoid making the same mistake again.

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