The division of General Surgery is committed to providing medical students, residents and fellows with a wide array of surgical training, including laparoscopic and open general surgery procedures in the treatment of morbid obesity, gastroesophageal reﬂux disease, pancreatic and biliary diseases, hernias and colorectal diseases.
Just as pilots train in a ﬂight simulator, Vanderbilt surgical residents and medical school students planning a career in surgery are learning critical surgical skills in an innovative simulated operating room environment.
Building on the Department of Surgery’s highly successful and evolving simulation training program, Jonathan C. Nesbitt, M.D., launched the Cardiac Surgery Simulation Program — one of only a handful of institutions in the world offering a life-like beating heart simulation model. Intricate procedures, such as coronary bypass surgery, aortic valve replacement and aortic root replacement are simulated.
The department of Surgery’s simulation training program, led by Light Lab Director Phillip Williams and former Administrative Chief Resident Kyla Terhune, M.D., now assistant professor of General Surgery, is novel in that it is led by the efforts of many residents who are committed to acquiring and improving skills outside of the operating room in a low stakes, low cost, yet highly effective environment.
The program provides residents with specialized skills training laboratories four times a month, enabling residents to perform actual surgical techniques, such as laparoscopy as well as traditional open surgery. Senior residents participate in quarterly skills sessions in preparation of the acquiring required certiﬁcation in “Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery.”
And new residents attend a two-day boot camp through Vanderbilt’s Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA), which teaches practical skills in a simulated environment. Following 100 years of apprentice-style surgical training, Vanderbilt’s simulation program is bridging the gap between surgical knowledge and real world experience.