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General Surgery Residency Program Robotic Curriculum

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Our goal at Bassett Healthcare Network is to make sure all of our general surgery residents graduate with a robotic certificate.

We will be expanding our existing da Vinci Surgical System with a second robot with dual-console capability in the Fall of 2023. We are also on the list to receive the SimNow® by da Vinci simulation platform in the near future. SimNow is a new, all-inclusive service for our robotic-assisted learning program. The system has an ever-growing library of skills, exercises, and virtual reality surgical procedures which will provide our residents with a standardized simulation experience across all da Vinci surgical systems.

Learning Objectives of the Curriculum

  • Understand the basic components of a robotic operating system and how they interact with each other.
  • Identify operations appropriate for a robotic approach.
  • Recognize patient safety issues unique to robotic surgery.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of trocar placement and spacing, principles of docking, and how to insert and exchange robotic instruments. 
  • Become comfortable with basic manipulation of robotic instruments, as well as develop technical skills to include camera control and camera focusing, appropriate clutching while maintaining hands in a comfortable workspace, ability to use third arm and switch between instruments, maintaining a view of all moving instruments, recognizing tissue response to assess grip strength and safe handling of tissues, and the ability to troubleshoot system errors and manage collisions.

Requirements for our Residents

The following requirements are to be completed by all residents sequentially during their residency. If all of the requirements are met, residents who desire a letter documenting their experience and competency at the time of graduation will be reviewed by at least two faculty members and provided such documentation.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Completion of online robotic training modules.
  • Workshop attendance for the introduction to docking, instrument exchange, simulator, and console training.
  • Completion of all simulator modules with a score of 90% or greater in a single attempt / passing score on two consecutive attempts / passing score on five non-consecutive attempts
  • Bedside assist five robotic cases, with responsibility for docking, instrument exchange, and assisting.
  • Console surgeon for a minimum of 30 cases.