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The traditional postgraduate surgical master-apprenticeship education model is undergoing a significant paradigm shift. For the past century, the transition from trainee to orthopaedic surgeon has been accomplished through stepwise integration of theoretical knowledge, observation of senior faculty, basic surgical skill acquisition, and gradual autonomy in complex procedures. Over the past decade, the explosion of virtual reality has heightened interest in this field for surgical residency training. The core principle of simulation training is “learning by doing” for acquisition and retention of surgical skills. It allows trainees to integrate theoretical knowledge with procedural skills in a risk-free setting prior to application in the operating room. Significant data supports the use of surgical simulation and virtual reality training modalities for skill acquisition in nearly every surgical specialty. The advancement in technology will allow immersive reality to become a standard educational platform in the future and this article provides a basic framework for understanding this ever-changing field.