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The First Laparoscopic Surgery Simulator in Bulgaria Is Already Being Used in the Training of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students at MU-Varna

Today, 27th April, the country's first virtual laparoscopic surgery simulator was presented at St. Marina University Hospital, which is a leading academic clinical structure of the Medical University in Varna. The introduction of the simulator is a part of the strategy for development of medical education in Varna, the use of new technologies in training and development of tele- and simulation medicine, without which a modern university cannot exist. Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov, Rector of MU-Varna, explained that these were the first steps, and further on the construction of a separate Simulation Centre, located in a new 9-storey building and equipped with the most modern and advanced simulators, was forthcoming.


Prof. Dr. Nikola Kolev, head of the Department of General and Operative Surgery, explained that surgery training of undergraduate and postgraduates students, as well as maintaining the qualification of experienced surgeons was a complicated and continuous process. "In today's high-tech century, theoretical training of trainee surgeons is not an issue. Today, the training process is being slowed down mainly because of practical training, which is a considerably more complicated stage and depends on a number of circumstances. Exactly the introduction of these surgery training simulators could be the solution to the problem connected with the quick and high quality practical training of medical students. This stage of simulation training is mandatory in many universities in Europe and worldwide, before young surgeons begin to operate on patients. The simulators are intuitive and completely recreate the intraoperative setting, and take account of errors and complications occurring during a surgery. Such an intervention can be repeated over and over again until it is mastered to perfection by the future surgeon," added Prof. Kolev.

The simulation form is a new training form that ensures higher quality of surgery training. With the introduction of the new simulator in Varna, Bulgarian medical education attains European and world level. Simbionix Lap Mentor III combines technologies of virtual reality and medical simulation. It has more than 100 modules, which are used in all surgery specialties and provides active feedback. The simulator fully covers modern laparoscopic instrumentation and robotic surgery. The system has a test module that works with geometric shapes through which basic technical skills can be acquired by future doctor.

Gai Beninsti – a guest lecturer from Israel, demonstrated how the new simulator Simbionix Lap Mentor III operates and performed an operation in front of doctors, postgraduate and undergraduate university students and media representatives.

As a part of the modern technology available at Medical University-Varna, there was also a demonstration of the telemedicine system enabling live viewing of procedures in the operating room, which is already being used for conducting exams, for demonstrations during training, as well as for conducting examinations for specialty acquisition.

Advanced training technologies and the first Dental Medicine simulator were presented by Dr. Tsvetelina Borisova, a lecturer at the Faculty of Dental Medicine at MU-Varna.

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Assoc. Prof. Ivan Merdzhanov - director of the Centre for e-Learning and Distance Learning at MU-Varna, presented the Blackboard platform, which is one of the platforms for e-learning in the world, which has gained great popularity recently. The platform, which was implemented at MU-Varna in 2014, currently has been used by more than 8 million users worldwide. Its function is to assist the work of lecturers and students, giving students access to all electronic and non-electronic resources, available at the University and the global network, aiming at improving the quality of education. A great number of the exams at MU-Varna are being conducted through the Blackboard e-learning syste​m. ​