Surgical Skills Laboratory

Accredited Education Institute

An integral part of the Department of Surgery's residency program is the Surgical Skills Laboratory. The facility is in Bellevue Hospital, making it centrally located among our three hospitals, NYU, Bellevue and VA that make up the main campus of the NYU School of Medicine training centers.

In August 2009, the Surgical Skills Laboratory was awarded Level I Accreditation by the American College of Surgeons this August. This is a 3 year accreditation. NYU has joined a handful of Surgical Residency programs that has thus far passed the Level I accreditation process, the highest level. There are currently between 20-30 programs that have passed this vigorous processes.

The goal of our Education Institute is to focus on competencies and to specifically address teaching, learning and assessment of technical skills using simulation and state-of-the art educational methods. Our faculty will ensure that the participants achieve predetermined levels of skill at the completion of the course. We would be able to offer practicing surgeons, surgical residents, medical students, and members of the surgical team a spectrum of educational opportunities including those that address acquisition and maintenance of skills; and focus on new procedures and emerging technologies. Other Departments can also benefit from this Institute to meet their educational requirements.
The Surgical Skills program, an adjunct to residency education, began in the spring of 2004 with laparoscopic sessions. We now have a full curriculum of sessions from the R1 level through the R5 level of training. While each session contains a lecture, the primary focus is on the hands on skills with instruction and individual practice on a given surgical technique and procedure. By utilizing a skills program in residency training, the residents are given the opportunity to learn, practice and improve on various skills in an environment that is stress free, which is not always available while treating patients. Our surgical instructors enjoy utilizing the skills sessions in addition to teaching in the O.R. as it allows time for instruction, return demonstration and the ability to critique techniques without the time constraints during surgery.

Ms. Gluszak is actively involved with the Medical Student's Surgery Club, running hands on Skills Sessions for the 1st and 2nd year Medical Students who are interested in pursuing surgery as a career. Many other Departments in the NYUSOM run similar hands on skills sessions for their residents, including, GYN, GU, Ophthalmology and Orthopedics.

All interns who enter the General Surgery Program are required to attend the 13 surgical skills sessions regardless of sub specialty. Our program at the intern level is designed to be applicable to all surgical specialties. Sessions in the program include topics such as proper instrument handling, dissection, emergency (surgical) airway management, CVL placement, principles of electrocautery, F.A.S.T. ultrasound and introduction to laparoscopic surgery.
As the residents progress through training the surgical skills sessions become more focused on general surgery topics. These include more advanced laparoscopic techniques which cumulate with laparoscopic animal lab sessions at an off site facility, in addition to bowel and vascular anastomosis sessions. Each of these teach surgical techniques at level that is appropriate to the surgical year and expectations of practice. Our program also offers additional cadaver workshops for the senior residents with the focus on anatomic basis of surgical dissection.

The Surgical Skills Curriculum is an open curriculum with room to expand and add workshops as needed. We have added programs which include the use of surgical simulators in the areas of interventional vascular surgery, upper and lower GI endoscopy as well as a human patient simulator (The SimMan). The use of a human patient simulation allows for instruction on the care of a patient in a crisis situation utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach.

The Surgical skills lab is also open for the residents to return independently and practice 7 days a week. The Surgical Skills Lab is located in Old Bellevue Hospital, making it central to all campus hospitals. Erica Friedman, MD Assistant Professor Director, Surgical Skills Laboratory. The lab is run by Peggy Gluszak, RN, BSN who is the Manager/Coordinator of the facility and all residency/clerkship curriculum.

You may also read this article about our Surgical Skills Lab in Bellevue Hospital here.

To schedule your training(s) at The Surgical Skills lab please contact Peggy Gluszak via email at or by phone: (212) 263-3034.