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Surgical Skills Center

The Surgical Skills Center at Indiana University School of Medicine was formally accredited in the summer of 2019 by the American College of Surgeons as a Comprehensive Education Institute. Equipped with modern simulation centers to aid all surgery trainee levels from novice to practice-ready, these advanced facilities provide opportunities to all residents and fellows in the Department of Surgery to hone individual surgical skills within a low-stakes environment. This structured skills and simulation environment improves patient safety through focused and structured practice.

Under the leadership of E. Matthew Ritter, MD, director of the Surgical Skills Center, and David Canal, MD, assistant director of the Surgical Skills Center, the skills lab curricula involve all residency and fellowship training programs in the Department of Surgery with scheduled sessions throughout the academic year. Trainees observe, practice, and evaluate their performance. The Surgical Skills Center also houses Simbionix simulators for laparoscopic and endoscopic training and is a designated Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) training site.

Simulation Curriculum

Under the close supervision of the Department of Surgery faculty and skills lab technicians, trainees can practice and receive immediate feedback on their performance in areas of simulation, inanimate, and animate lab settings. A curriculum equal to a trainee’s level begins with simple suturing and ends with advanced laparoscopic procedures, including intestinal anastomosis, during the chief resident year.

In addition to monthly sessions for residents, the center supports third- and fourth-year medical student surgical clerkships and continued medical education programs offering advanced surgical techniques in all surgical disciplines.

National surgical initiatives:

  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET)
  • Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM)

All initiatives are accredited by the American College of Surgeons and are offered as part of the skills curriculum at no cost to the resident. The skills center is a vital component of the Department of Surgery’s education program, continually advancing to meet the needs of modern surgical training.

Residents Access to Simulators

Surgery residents have 24/7 access to access to the following simulators:

  • FLS Trainer Boxes for Peg Transfer and Circle Cut
  • Simbionix Lap Mentor
  • Simbionix GI Mentor
  • Simbionix Angio Mentor
Surgical Residents Access to Simulators

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery residents and fellows have access to the Kindheart Cardiac Surgery Simulator, the Chamberlain Group Heart Case, and the Chamberlain Group VATS simulator during scheduled Wednesday simulation sessions. Individual practice sessions can be set up with the IU SSC with appropriate supervision and notice.

Surgeon in skills lab

New to the simulation curriculum

  • Simulated patient OSCEs for all PGY 1 residents at IU Health’s Fairbanks Simulation Virtual Clinic

  • Team-based training for PGY 1 interns in the departments of Surgery and Emergency Medicine

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