OB/GYN Kicks off Robotics Training at University of Miami Hospital

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was the first to offer formal robotic surgery training sessions for its residents, including a bedside orientation and console practice session last month at University of Miami Hospital.

The session was part of a new UMH-based robotics curriculum aimed at preparing residents from all surgical specialties to use the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, which is manufactured by Intuitive Surgical. Modeled after Duke University’s program, the training program consists of online, computer-based learning modules, the bedside orientation session with console practice time, and a timed practical exam, which assesses skill sets.

To receive console certification, residents must successfully perform the timed tasks assigned during each of the five skill-set stations. The online training modules are mandatory for all participating residents and the practical exam is available to senior residents interested in practicing robotic surgery after completing residency.

J. Matt Pearson, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and member of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and Mike Quijano, Intuitive Surgical representative for UMH, organized the March 10 training session, which three OB/GYN residents — Alexander Mejia, M.D., Daniel Bolet, M.D., and Diana English, M.D. — successfully completed. They are now eligible to sit for their practical exams. The session was especially beneficial to English, a fourth-year resident who was recently accepted to Yale University’s fellowship program in gynecologic oncology.

“The formalization of this process will allow for a more objective assessment of each resident’s skill level throughout the learning curve,” said Pearson, who is a member of the Miller School’s Robotics Steering Committee and director of the gynecology/oncology robotics program. “It may also simplify the post-residency credentialing process for individual robotic surgeons, as well as the institutions where they will ultimately practice medicine.”

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