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General Surgery Residency Program Surgical Skills Lab at UPMC in Central Pa.

The UPMC in central Pa. System Surgical Skills Lab core mission is to provide surgical resident training in a dynamic "hands on", interactive, zero risk, low stress environment. Procedural training at the bedside and in the operating room can be costly and lead to poor patient outcomes and satisfaction.

We have adapted and expanded upon the ACS Surgical Skills Lab curriculum as necessary to meet the needs of our residents thereby improving the patient experience at UPMC in central Pa.. A collaborative effort, employing a multidisciplinary approach, to teach surgical skills in a zero risk environment gives our residents unprecedented hands on surgical training. The lab is available 24/7 to our residents and faculty. Residents can receive expert instruction from our Surgical Faculty, have time to practice the desired skill, and then be evaluated by the faculty and staff on that particular skill. The Surgical Faculty and Surgical Skills Lab staff is committed to the highest standards of training that will lead to optimal patient outcomes.

Interns have valuable hands-on experience beginning with a four day comprehensive "Boot Camp" that will provide valuable skills training and one on one training with Attendings and senior residents.

A sample of our yearly curriculum includes:

  • FLS “Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery”
  • FES “Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery”
  • Arterial Line Course – Femoral and Radial Access
  • Ultrasound Guided Central Line Course
  • Emergent Airway Course
  • GI Anastomosis Course
  • FUSE “Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy” Course
  • Wound and Stoma Care
  • Urethral Catheter Insertion
  • Pig Bowel Anastomosis Lab
  • PEG Tube Placement
  • Chest Tube Insertion and Chest Drain Management
  • Ultrasound Guided Thoracentesis and Pericardiocentesis
  • Ultrasound Guided Surgical Biopsy
  • Skin Grafts and Flaps
  • Vascular Anastomosis
  • “Milestones” Simulations
  • Cadaver Lab
  • Robotic Surgery Curriculum and Simulation
  • Electro surgery Principles Lab
  • Positioning Lab
  • Microsurgery Lab
  • Neck Dissection Lab
  • Hernia Repair Lab
  • Vascular Lab
  • Cardiovascular Catheterization Lab 

A formal curriculum has been developed for our visiting medical student’s rotation as well. This includes: Principles of Sterile Technique, Communication Tools, Suturing and Knot Tying, Urethral Catheter Insertion, and MIS and Stapling labs.

The Skills Lab is also available to any practicing surgeon, who would like to develop a new skill, refine a skill he/she already possesses or obtain CMEs through the FLS, FES, and/or FUSE training modules.

Contact Us

Jennifer Tran
Skills Lab Coordinator
Phone: 717-231-6322

Sheryll Valentine
Skills Lab Education Support
Phone: 717-657-7451

Contact UPMC

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Contact UPMC in Central Pa.