Navigation control skills of surgeons become very critical for surgical procedures. Strategies improving these skills are important for developing higher-quality surgical training programs. In this study, the underlying reasons of the navigation control effect on performance in a virtual reality-based navigation environment are evaluated. The participants' performance is measured in conditions: navigation control display and paper-map display. Performance measures were collected from 45 beginners and experienced residents. The results suggest that navigation display significantly improved performance of the participants. Also, navigation was more beneficial for beginners than experienced participants. The underlying reason of the better performance in the navigation condition was due to lower number of looks to the map, which causes attention shifts between information sources. Accordingly, specific training scenarios and user interfaces can be developed to improve the navigation skills of the beginners considering some strategies to lower their number of references to the information sources.