Artificial Intelligence in Surgical Education and Training: A Systematic Literature Review

Hamza Azhar, Talat Waseem, Hira Ashraf

Archives of Surgical Research. 2021;2(1):58-66.
DOI: 10.48111/2021.01.10



Traditional method of surgical training is centered on apprenticeship and shadowing. Assessment of technical skills is subjective and largely dependent on mentors, merely reflecting trainee’s expertise. Certain aspects of this method hinder technical training of the trainees. However, artificial intelligence (AI) can help us revolutionize surgical education and training. Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a computer to perform operations analogous to learning and decision making in humans. It can be used to objectively assess the technical skills of a training surgeon.


Objective of this study was to provide a comprehensive overview of impact of artificial intelligence on surgical training and education.


A systematic computerized search was done on 7 February 2021 in PubMed. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were followed to carry out this systematic review. Keywords used for search were (“Artificial intelligence”) AND (“Surgical education” OR “Surgical training”). All the articles published from 2019-3-1 to 2021-2-25, which met our inclusion criteria were added. Only articles in English were added. Following PRISMA guidelines 700 articles were identified, out of which 83 articles were selected after reading the title. 30 articles were selected after reading the abstract and 16 articles were finally selected for thematic analysis and literature review after reading the full text paper.


AI can revolutionize surgical education and training. It can be used for Surgical Skill Assessment and optimizing the training of surgeons. It can help in objective assessment of the trainees. AI is extensively used in the field of ophthalmology, plastic surgery and vascular surgery. It has also found its application in radiology and diagnostics.