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High-Tech Surgical Skills Center Opens

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From left: Apostolos Tassiopoulos, Todd K. Rosengart, Kenneth Kaushansky, and Richard J. Scriven (photo by Sam Levitan)

Leadership from the School of Medicine and Department of Surgery officially opened and tested the new Surgical Skills Center (SSC) on Friday, January 7. Located on Level 2 of the Health Sciences Center, the 1,800 square-foot facility is dedicated to surgical training of fellows, residents, and medical students, and complements the School’s existing 6,000 square-foot Clinical Skills Center that opened in 2006, further reinforcing simulation training as a major component of medical education at the School of Medicine.

Embraced as a training tool and promoted as an assessment of resident surgical skills by the American College of Surgeons, surgical simulation is emerging nationwide as a resource with enormous potential for teaching, learning, and research. The SSC at Stony Brook focuses on the development of surgical and clinical skills early on in the training process, as well as provides advanced levels of training to build surgical leadership skills and foster effective communication and collaboration between healthcare teams. It is also an innovative tool for critical assessment of patient safety issues and provides an excellent mechanism for developing and conveying best practices.

At dedicated skill stations in this setting, doctors at various levels of training use high-tech tools to perform surgical interventions outside the operating room. These tools include computerized workstations, life-like mannequins, accurate anatomical models, and virtual reality simulators for several types of surgical interventions.

“This new facility will further enhance clinical skills education and promote surgical training at the highest level,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine. “The Surgical Skills Center should make Stony Brook University School of Medicine a national leader in training students, residents, and attending physicians current and future surgical techniques, allowing their delivery of the very highest quality clinical care.”

“Opening the Surgical Skills Center is an important milestone for training future surgeons at Stony Brook,” added Todd K Rosengart, Professor of Surgery and Chair, Department of Surgery. “The timing of the opening is right, as high-tech simulation training will grow as a training tool because we are in an era in which minimally invasive surgical approaches and technology are constantly advancing.”

“Simulation in surgical training provides a reduced stress environment to learn and practice the most innovative and minimally invasive techniques in surgery for both common and rare medical scenarios,” said Apostolos Tassiopoulos, Associate Professor of Surgery and SSC Director. “This training venue is also ideal to take the time to demonstrate errors and complications and discuss strategies to avoid them, which ultimately translates to enhanced patient safety.”

For more information about the Surgical Skills Center, contact the Department of Surgery at (631) 444-2037.

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