Goodman Surgical Education Center

Letter from the Director

November 2017

This summer and fall came like a whirlwind, and the Goodman Surgical Education Center has had a flurry of amazing activity.  The final audiovisual and center structure upgrades are now complete whereby our brick and mortar shop is now par with our education and simulation needs. 

Sylvia Bereknyei-Merrell has officially joined the Department of Surgery with Stanford SPIRE (as a qualitative researcher and consultant) and the Goodman Surgical Education Center (as our research director).  She brings expertise in qualitative research and a keen sense of research design, scholarship planning, and skilled teaching that ensures a vibrant educational program for the Department of Surgery.  Our med scholar's medical student, Paloma Marin-Nevarez, has been a superstar during her time with us at the Goodman Center! She has been conducting qualitative research with our inter professional in-situ simulation program (Interprofessional Communication Education Program on Teamwork) as well as co-creating a new pre-clerkship seminar course with Becca Steinberg on Service Through Surgery (Surg 234). Our education fellow, Brittany Hasty, has been selected as a member of the Organization of Resident Representatives (ORR) for the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) through the Association for Surgical Education (ASE).  She has also secured a grant from the Center for Surgical Education Research and Training (CESERT) Institute of the Association for Surgical Education (ASE) for her study on “Linking Interdisciplinary Team-based In-situ Operating Room Situations to Patient Outcomes and Culture Change: A Community-based Participatory Mixed-Methods Study”.  Edmund Lee, a GSEC education fellow, has started his Master’s in Health Professions Education (MHPE) at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and has revitalized our sub-internship curriculum and creating a workshop to submit to ASE with Drs. Nabil Issa (Associate Program Director Northwestern) and Ann Lidor (Vice Chair of Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison). 

    We have concluded our search for our future American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Fellow for 2018-2020.  There were amazing applicants, and this has highlighted for me the burgeoning interest in education in surgery by residents.  It is sad that we can only select one every other year but we are excited to be welcoming Tiffany Anderson from the University of Florida, Gainesville this coming July.  She comes with a passion for teaching and a desire to innovate teaching programs for medical students as an academic surgical leader. 

    The American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress came and went but not without our past education fellow, Edward Shipper, presenting his work on the ‘blinded vs. non-blinded interviews for surgery residency’ and ‘a multi-centered qualitative study of attrition on attrition and non-attrition residents.'  As we gathered to support Dr. Shipper on his wonderful presentations, we also visited with our national colleagues in surgical education fellowships at Indiana University, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. Lastly, our Operations Manager, Kristen Kayser, continues to hold all our education programs together as we consistently add new ones.  Her position is so essential, and after only one year, she has been reclassified to capture better all that she does for the fellows, medical students, residents, and the Department of Surgery. 

--Dr. James Lau

July 2017

The Start of the new academic year brings with it the cycle of progress in graduate and undergraduate medical education and most specifically with us at the Department of Surgery at Stanford.

At the Goodman Surgical Education Center (GSEC), Dr. Edward Shipper has returned to the University of Texas at San Antonio as a clinical PGY-3 to complete his general surgery residency.  He leaves us on the heels of the acceptance of his abstract, Evaluating the Impact of Blinded vs. Non-Blinded Interviews on the General Surgery Resident Selection Process, which will be presented at the scientific forum for the Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in October in San Diego.  He completed his work on Bridging the Gap Between Simulation Center and Patient Bedside: A Point of Care Video-based Curriculum for Common, Low-Risk Bedside Procedures which was funded by the 2016 APDS ASE Collaborative Initiative Grant.  Ed had worked with the programs and program directors at the University of Nevada (Jenifer Baynosa), Indiana Universiy (Jen Choi), Stanford (Marc Melcher), and the University of Tennessee (Nicole Kissane) to perform matched interviews on attrition and non-attrition residents in order to discern any common themes related to surgery residency attrition.  Our Stanford Med Scholar Student Genna Braverman (now a medicine intern at the Columbia-Cornell Program, utilized the same sample to discern the importance of mentorship in attrition.  Her manuscript has been submitted for peer review.  Elena Brandford, also one of our star Stanford Med Scholars who has completed her manuscript of the work she presented at the 2017 Surgical Education Week in San Diego on Student Definitions and Perceptions of Mistreatment on the Surgery Core Clerkship. 

Dr. Brittany Hasty, from the general surgery program at Loyola University Chicago, becomes our senior education fellow.  She has completed her coursework for her Master’s in Health Professions Education (MHPE) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and will be working on her thesis.  She will be shifting her research attention from medical student mistreatment, of which she completed a manuscript with one of our burgeoning education focused medical students, Sarah Miller, to that of interdisciplinary communication and teamwork.  She will join me, along with education leads at Stanford from the hospital peri-operative services, the Departments of Surgery and Anesthesia, the Center for Immersive and Simulation-Based Learning, and the Risk Authority to implement an inter-disciplinary in-situ simulation program that will become standard work in the main OR at Stanford.  Our aim is to burn inter-disciplinary training into the fabric of our OR culture. 

Dr. Edmund Lee joins us as our new education fellow from the general surgery residency at the Beth Israel Mount Sinai Program in New York.  He has been accepted into and will start his MHPE at UIC this July.  He comes to us with boundless initiative, work ethic, and enthusiasm.   He will find his research niche and begin teaching our medical students and residents this month.

Kristen Kayser, our GSEC operations manager, and Hailee Kuhl, our assistant manager, have quickly become the administrative experts at curriculum implementation for surgery at Stanford.  Under the seasoned direction of Dr. Dana Lin, Kristen and Hailee have ensured the innovation of resident assessment in evolving our verification of proficiency program (VOP) for surgical skill and in splitting our didactic core course to a senior and junior program for our surgery residents.  Dana also is continuing her research arc on emotional intelligence, resilience, grit, and wellness in surgery graduate medical education.  She will be mentoring our summer intern, Wendy Qiu in the aspects of wellness in our surgical residency program. 

We also want to congratulate our Director of Research, Sylvia Merrell, and her husband Nick, on the birth of their first child, Sonja. 

Wishing everyone a great summer!


-Dr. James Lau


May 2017

Upon my return from the Association for Surgical Education (ASE) Surgical Education Week (SEW) in San Diego this year I could not help but reflect on the accomplishments from those that are the Goodman Surgical Education Center (GSEC). 

Sarah Miller, MS2, delivered a powerhouse plenary on research conducted by herself and Dr. Brittany Hasty on their content analysis of focus groups discussing our mistreatment curriculum on the surgery core clerkship.  Elena Brandford, MS5, followed that with a knockout presentation at the paper session defining mistreatment from the students’ perspective.  Dr. Edward Shipper not only gave an excellent presentation on a paper he wrote with Sarah Miller on the topic of, "Pre-clerkship Skills Course Towards an Immersive Experience Introducing a Student to the Operative World of Surgery," but capped off the week by receiving the 2017 ASE Resident Educator’s Award.  The GSEC was represented in three pre-ASE meeting workshops on simulation, associate program director’s, and troubleshooting the surgery core clerkship. We also hosted a student-led mistreatment intervention workshop to rousing reviews. Dr. Dana Lin, our Director of Surgical Programs and Karen Cockerill, our Clerkship Coordinator, watched over all these proceedings. At the same time, Dana and I were strategizing on future studies and workshops.  The ideas seemed to pour out of us amid our current and past work surrounding the issues in education that we love to try to tackle.  We had support from our research lead, Sylvia Bereknyei Merrell, who was cheering for us over the technologies of Facetime, Twitter, and iMessage.  Kristen Kayser and Hailee Kuhl were holding down the fort at Stanford getting ready for the arrival of our newest education fellow Edmund Lee from the Beth Israel Mt. Sinai program in New York.

Dr. Thomas Krummel gave the Laycock lecture at SEW this year on innovators in medicine with the theme that innovators often go against the grain of the time to truly change the game in patient care and education.  Going against the grain for us means collaboration and pushing outside the dominant silos of academics.  We strive to assist the many education fellowships that have been and are currently being developed for teaching as well as great research.  We pledge openness in working with others at Stanford as well as those at other institutions who are doing unbelievably great work in teaching and learning in medical education.

As we plan for the second Annual Stanford Innovations in Medical Education Conference (SIMEC II) which will take place on May 13th, in the Li Ka Shing Center, I cannot help but hear Dr. Krummels words ‘Innovation must go against the experts of this time to create a new and better time’. We welcome all to this gathering to celebrate the work being done within the Greater Bay Area to further the purpose of medical education for all, by all.

This is an exciting time for those of us in medical education within the Department of Surgery and at the Stanford School of Medicine overall.  As we prepare for the new academic year, we continue to evolve our current programs while finding innovative ways to assess our learners, care for each other in our educational and clinical professional endeavors, and mentor those aspiring to care for patients clinically. 


-Dr. James Lau


March 2017

This winter brings the Goodman Surgical Education Center past the holidays and the completion of our Surg 204 and Surg 205 to wildly great feedback from our pre-clerkship students.  We would like to thank our TA’s for these courses Sarah Miller and Joanne Zhou who went way beyond running the courses but revising and improving them.  The feedback went directly to our Chair and we will be considering increasing the enrollment cap for both of these courses for the next academic year to accommodate more students.  The mistreatment work that we have been conducting in the surgery core clerkship has just been published in Academic Medicine and the companion studies on student definitions on mistreatment have been, and are being, presented at the Academic Surgical Congress in Las Vegas this month and at Surgical Education Week in San Diego in April.  Our med scholars students (Elena Brandford and Genna Braverman) have been working hard on our multi-institutional resident attrition project as well as determining a more precise structure to view mistreatment experienced by our medical students.  If that wasn’t enough, they are crafting a workshop for Surgical Education Week (SEW) on medical student mistreatment from the student perspective. 

Dr. Edward Shipper, our senior education fellow, has been selected for one of the resident teacher awards for the Association for Surgical Education for 2017 and will receive this at SEW 2017 this April in San Diego.  This would be three years in a row where one of the education fellows have received this award.  This speaks to their outstanding dedication to their craft.  Ed has developed a style of teaching medical student, residents, and faculty (in our faculty development program as a mentor) all his own.  Ed has done some outstanding work in resident selection and attrition as well as creating wonderful teaching videos that can be used by medical students and residents alike.  He will be returning to complete his clinical residency in general surgery with Dr. Daniel Dent at the University of Texas San Antonio this coming July.

Our upcoming education fellow, Edmund Lee M.D., has been accepted into the prestigious MHPE program at the University of Illinois Chicago (from what I know as the oldest Department of Medical Education in the country).  He is joining us from the Mount Sinai Beth Israel general surgery program in New York for two years starting this July.  He will join Brittany Hasty, MD (from Loyola University Chicago), Kristen Kayser (our operations manager), and Hailee Kuhl (our administrative assistant) to complete the core ground level GSEC team for 2017-2018. 

We have so much to be grateful for and so much work to yet complete.  We are undergoing a curriculum review for the residency skills curriculum in the midst of preparing our PGY-1 residents for their CVL certification/verification of proficiency.

Our center has been recertified as an AEI and now our fellowship will be undergoing it’s first re-accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Education Institutes.  I am proud of the work that the GSEC accomplishes in teaching, research, and educational mentorship but more proud of the way in which we do it…with respect for the learners and in a thoughtful collaborative manner.


-Dr. James Lau

Happy New Year! January 2017 

This academic year started with lots of changes and, like most transitions, have harkened in wonderful new opportunities in teaching and learning for the Department of Surgery at Stanford.  Our team’s overall themes of mentorship, learning and working environment, and focused curricula toward the needs of the learner have become fluent in the curricula we run, the research that we do, and the collaborations that we form inside the GSEC and throughout the educational universe. 

As one of the first comprehensive American College of Surgeons (AC) accredited education institute (ACS-AEI), it is with honor that I announce our third re-accreditation.  As with our education fellows, joining Edward Shipper, MD (from the University of Texas at San Antonio) in the education fellowship in July was Brittany Hasty, MD (from Loyola University Chicago).  Ed’s research interest started with residency applicant selection and now has culminated to examining the educational and mentorship environment with attrition.  His creativity in teaching videos have extended to just-in-time video vignettes on surgery procedures for medical students and inters which he also secured grant funding for (a joint ASE/APDS education grant).  Brittany hit the ground running with performing a focused learner needs assessment skills curricula in surgical training to defining the medical student definitions of mistreatment.  Her interest in interprofessional teamwork and communication is perfectly times as we develop an interdisciplinary in-situ simulation research program aimed at improving communication culture in the operating room to improve work culture and patient safety outcomes.  The operating room administrative and educational leadership is teaming with us, the anesthesia department, and experts in quality improvement, ethnography, and implementation science in order to make this three-year research program robust enough to move beyond one surgical specialty area and towards all operative and procedural areas.

Late last year, Kristen Kayser joined us as the new operations manager for the Goodman Surgical Education Center and almost simultaneously, Hailee Kuhl came on as the administrative assistant to the Center as well.  They harken in a the new administrative team that essentially steers the GSEC through our increasing teaching missions with the department of surgery.  The GSEC herself has undergone renovation and refurbishment to keep up with the technology required to function as a simulation and teaching center.  With a generous donation, Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Hon-Mai Goodman provided these additional funds to do so. 

In our ongoing educational thread of providing the general surgery residents with all the opportunities and certifications necessary in training, we have added to our designation as a FLS testing center to become a Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery Testing Center.  This required the training of our personnel as testing proctors with SAGES and acquiring the VR endoscopy platform to administer the test.  Our residents have always had an endoscopy component in the Skills Curriculum but now has been revised to incorporate the requirements for the American Board of Surgery.  


-Dr. James Lau