The Institute for Surgical Excellence (ISE) has launched an international initiative to develop the first standardized curriculum for robotic surgical trainers. The Train-the-Trainer initiative is a direct response to rapidly changing surgical robotic technology and expanded surgeon use worldwide that is outpacing education and training needs, hindering health care providers and patients.

“Right now when patients enter the operating room, they have no way of knowing if their surgeon has been trained by an instructor using the best education and training practices,” said ISE Interim Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Levy. “Patients need to feel confident that their surgeon has been trained properly and has the experience needed to perform safe and effective robotic surgery.”

The Train-the-Trainer consensus conference brought together 36 master trainers and education experts from across the United States and Europe to develop a curriculum that includes components from the best training programs and facilities around the world. The curriculum is centered around robotic surgery, and is especially important since robotic surgery allows for patients to have faster and less complicated recovery times with less infection or error, lowering overall costs in certain procedures.

The first conference to develop Train-the-Trainer standards was held in Philadelphia in late June 2017. Representatives joined from the United States, France, Germany, Sweden, England, Italy and Spain. The representatives brought a variety of backgrounds with them, including gynecology, urology, colorectal surgery, thoracic surgery, psychology, education, federal aviation and the military.

The Train-the-Trainer curriculum development process will continue under the guidance of the ISE leadership. The next steps are to determine the key elements of a core curriculum through a validated expert-driven consensus process.

For more information, visit surgicalexcellence.org.