American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Highlights from the ACS Surgeons and Engineers: A Dialogue on Surgical Simulation Meeting

The full-day 2021 ACS Surgeons and Engineers: A Dialogue on Surgical Simulation meeting was held on March 10 with notable success. The agenda for this meeting was designed to examine the partnerships between surgeons, engineers, scientists, physicians, and educators to advance simulation-based surgical education. The virtual meeting attracted 126 registrants from the U.S. and 15 other countries. A total of 60 abstracts were received in four categories: Research, Research in Progress, Challenges in Technology-Enhanced Surgical Education, and Promoting Technology and Collaboration. Twelve highly scored abstracts were selected and presented as live oral presentations, and 26 abstracts were presented on a virtual poster presentation site.

The keynote address, "Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery: A Three-Way Partnership between Physicians, Technology, and Information to Improve Patient Care," was delivered by Russell H. Taylor, PhD, John C. Malone Professor of Computer Science, with joint appointments in mechanical engineering, radiology, and surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. The Special Panel on Surgeons and Engineers: Successful Collaboration included four experts with significant experience in productive partnerships between surgeons and engineers. The panelists included Robert M. Sweet, MD, FACS, MAMSE, professor of urology, University of Washington; Gregory D. Hager, PhD, Mandell Bellmore Professor of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University; Silvana Perretta, MD, professor of surgery, University Hospital, IRCAD; and Erik P. Dutson, MD, FACS, clinical professor of surgery, University of California, Los Angeles.

An interactive breakout session focused on the following three critical topics encountered in surgeon and engineer partnerships: (1) challenges in writing a multidisciplinary and synergetic grant proposal, (2) overcoming cultural challenges between surgeons and engineers (including IP protection and whether a written collaboration agreement will help), and (3) determining the top five challenges in technology-enhanced surgical education. The group leader for each topic compiled the discussed issues and ideas and provided an informative summary presentation to the entire group. This information will be used to identify areas to address both at the next meeting and on a surgeons and engineers community board online.

A follow-up survey was distributed to all meeting participants and 36 responses were received. Overall, the survey results reflected positive and enthusiastic responses. The next steps include reviewing input from the follow-up survey and identifying topics of interest for the next ACS Surgeons and Engineers meeting scheduled for March 2, 2022, at the Swissôtel in Chicago, IL.