The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery has mandated dedicated skills training for first-year orthopedic surgical residents.1 Most residency programs address this requirement with training exercises with cadavers and plastic foam bones. Some programs incorporate one or more simulators in their skills training, including several sophisticated virtual reality simulators and a variety of low-tech simulators. Simulators are helpful because they can provide repeatable educational experiences and quantitative performance assessment. Unfortunately, few simulators have been developed for orthopedic trauma skills training. Even fewer simulators have been developed and validated with more advanced students, such as residents in their 3rd or 4th year of training, and for more complex surgeries. In contrast to the completely virtual surgical simulation using haptic feedback devices and sophisticated renderings of soft tissue deformation, our group has chosen to use physical models, real surgical instruments and position tracking in conjunction with virtual reality.2–4 The physical models provide experience with the surgical tools, and enable more realistic hand movements and haptic cue feedback.

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