First-year medical students performed a simulated surgical task involving item transfers using a laparoscopic trainer box and the Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci® Surgical System. Performance efficiency in terms of the ratio of successfully transferred items to the sum of transferred items plus drops was greater when using the da Vinci than the laparoscopic system and task-induced stress measured by the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire was greater when working with the laparoscopic than with the da Vinci system. Perceived mental workload indexed by the Multiple Resources Questionnaire was high with both systems. With both systems, profiles of the information-processing resources involved in task performance emphasized manual, short-term memory, spatial, and visual/temporal processing dimensions. As measured by the Coping Inventory of Task Stress, task-focused coping was the dominant coping style used by the students with both surgical systems. The results have potential implications for selection and training with minimally invasive surgery procedures.