Surgical Resident Education

Goodman Surgical Education Center (GSEC) houses an extensive skills and simulation curriculum for the Division of General Surgery's Residency Program PGY-1 through PGY-5 levels. Many additional post graduate disciplines train in the GSEC as well, including Vascular Surgery, OBGYN, Anesthesia/Critical Care, and Gastroenterology. Examples include virtual endoscopy skills training for the GI fellows, DaVinci robot training for the Gyn Oncology Fellows, FLS training for OBGYN residents, and endovascular training for residents and fellows in Vascular surgery.

General Surgery Skills Curriculum

The 12-month General Surgery residency skills curriculum for PGY-1-5 incorporates various simulation experiences on a weekly basis during their protected teaching time. This program is built off of the American College of Surgeons (ACS)/Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) skills curriculum.

We have instituted a robust competency-based curriculum, individualizing feedback, and corresponding to the resident's level of training.

The needs of the learners are met in a variety of ways:

• Boot Camps (intern, returning from professional development, and ICU) are pillars of the program.

• Basic, procedure, operative, and leadership skills are honed in the GSEC within the annual curriculum.

• The operative skills section is capped by a series of cadaver labs taught by Stanford Department of Surgery faculty experts.

• The leadership section is taught by instructors from the Stanford Business School on negotiation and communication.

• Certification by the ACS on ultrasound is conferred to our junior residents through the ultrasound course taught by our ACS certified instructor/surgeons.

Our curriculum incorporates verification of proficiencies (VOP) on specific skills throughout residency. All of the feedback given and assessments completed are incorporated in the resident's personal Learner Portfolio. This Portfolio follows the resident as he/she progresses through the training program. Their progress is tracked and the residents are able to openly access their portfolio at any time.

In addition, the Roy B. Cohn Bioskills Laboratory is utilized for the cadaver portion of operative teaching in the General Surgery Residency skills curriculum.

Finally, to set our senior residents up for success on their boards, we help conduct mock oral exams. The residents are given recordings of their mock exam for reflection and the recording is integrated into their personalized Learner Portfolio.

Resident Skills Proficiency Milestones

The Surgical Skills curriculum also includes a variety of certification programs, including:

  • the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) program,
  • the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) program,
  • ACS-accredited Basic and Focused ultrasound courses,
  • Fundamentals of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (FVES); open vascular skills only,
  • Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET) course, 
  • and Intuitive Surgical Robotic Surgery.

Each module consists of a short didactic overview, proctored hands-on skills and simulation time, and assessment. The GSEC is available to all surgery residents by key card entry at any time. Modules are available—with prior coordination—for individual practice and review. 

Vascular Surgery

Jason Lee, MD, Associate Program Director for the Vascular Surgery Training Program has integrated simulation into the curriculum for vascular surgery fellows and surgical residents.

There are web-based tutorials on carotid, peripheral, and aneurysm disease as well as procedural simulation using several vascular simulators. These simulators allow practice in endovascular procedures using the same physical products used in reality – wires, catheter, balloons, stents, coils, etc. Additionally, the practitioner can try different catheters or find a new approach in a “patient-safe” environment. Surgical trainees at Stanford can rehearse their procedures prior to performing them in the angiography suite and operating room with the Vascular Surgery faculty. Dr. Lee also offers an introductory course for medical students interested in vascular surgery.