WUSM Institute for Surgical Education (WISE)

The WUSM Institute for Surgical Education (WISE) (Surgical Skills Lab) serves general surgery residents through a broad curriculum that includes use of endoscopy and laparoscopic simulators, training in surgical techniques and instrumentation, cadaver dissection, instruction in emergent procedures and preparation for performing specific surgical procedures.

Computer-based laparoscopic and endoscopic simulators are housed on the ninth floor of Wohl Hospital Building. The endoscopic simulator combines training in bronchoscopy and colonoscopy procedures. Training in the surgical skills curriculum is provided at the Clinical Sciences Research Building (CSRB) and at the Howard and Joyce Wood Simulation Center.

The General Surgery Residency at Washington University School of Medicine was one of the first surgical training programs in the country to introduce a surgical skills lab. The lab was established, in part, as a response to work-hour restrictions for residents and the increasing complexity of surgical techniques. In addition, growing recognition by both the public and the surgical community that allowing novices to be introduced to new techniques in a low-stress environment, free from patient harm, is beneficial.

In addition to general surgery residents, OBGYN residents, pulmonary fellows and third-year medical students on their surgical clerkship are trained in the surgical skills lab. General Surgery Residency program director Michael Awad, MD, and nurse coordinator Debbie Tiemann, RN, administer the lab.