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Surgical Simulation Training

Our simulation curriculum focuses on the development of surgical and clinical skills early on in the training process, while the emphasis at senior levels of training is on the development of leadership skills, effective communication and collaboration, practice building skills, critical assessment of patient safety issues, and thorough understanding of systems-based problems and quality assurance issues.

Training modules range from basic open skills (knot tying, suturing, intravenous access, central line and chest tube insertion) and fundamental laparoscopic skills (camera navigation, controlled cutting, transfer drills, laparoscopic suturing) to advanced open surgical skills (inguinal hernia anatomy and repair, sutured and stapled intestinal anastomosis, vascular anastomosis, arterial endarterectomy and bypass, open aortic aneurysm repair) and advanced patient care skills (advanced trauma and cardiac life support, various surgical clinical care scenarios).

Three high-end haptic virtual reality simulators are also available for training in laparoscopic advanced skills, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, laparoscopic colon resection, angiographic vascular anatomy, and a wide array of basic and advanced endovascular skills (navigation of endovascular catheters, angioplasty, stenting).

A dedicated space for a surgical wet-lab has also been created to allow for practice using animal tissue. The SSC utilizes cutting-edge audio/video technologies and software in order to maximize the utility and productivity of the activities it hosts, and to provide opportunities for performance review of, effective debriefing with, and meaningful feedback to trainees.

Watch this video (3:09 min) for an inside look at our high-tech Surgical Simulation Center.

Listen to what our trainees have to say about simulation training experience in the SSC.

Our residency program aims to train highly skilled surgeons for the 21st century.

Residents are provided with protected time each Thursday morning to participate in simulation exercises. Moreover, for two months at the beginning of the academic year, surgical residents participate in weekly “boot camp” activities, organized by training level, that are facilitated at the SSC and are designed to provide a solid foundation for developing all core competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Surgical attending faculty and staff with experience in surgical simulation education are available on a daily basis for guidance with training modules and skills development.

This two-month surgical boot camp is particularly effective in providing incoming interns with a background in basic surgical skills, while giving more senior residents the opportunity to refresh previously acquired skills and gain, through simulation, an introduction to more advanced techniques, procedures, and protocols.

Cardiac Sim Lab

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In 2019, a comprehensive simulation lab program in cardiac surgery for the general surgery residents was established. Our cardiac surgeons will help residents to perform cardiac surgery procedures in the simulation lab (pig lab).

The cardiac sim lab has a programmatic outlook on different dates for each of the most common cardiac procedures. Each session will be proctored by the faculty expert in the procedure.

Resident performing simulated placement of anchors in endovascular repair of complex aortic aneurysm.






Cardiac Surgery Sim Lab Program
Apr. 18, 2019
Jul. 18, 2019
Aug. 15, 2019
Oct. 17, 2019
Dec. 19, 2019
Feb. 21, 2020
Aortic valve replacement
Mitral valve repair and replacement
LVAD and heart failure surgery
Surgery for the aorta
Lead Proctor
Dr. Balaguer
Dr. Tannous
Dr. Chikwe
Dr. McLarty
Dr. Tannous
2-hour sessions > 4 tissue lab work stations > Please complete survey before leaving


In addition, we are working to develop a boot-camp training session for residents to learn anastomosis in pig heart with evaluations of their progress according to their practice.

Surgical simulation has emerged as a training tool with enormous potential for teaching, learning, and research. Our SSC provides residents and medical students the opportunity to be a part of this rich, dynamic process, and to work collaboratively in making meaningful contributions to the field of surgical simulation education (eg, "Simulated Laparoscopic Sigmoidectomy Training: Responsiveness of Surgery Residents").