Innovations in Education

Surgical Education in the Modern Era

With the evolution of work-hour restrictions by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, academic medical centers across the nation have been handed a unique opportunity to re-shape the way we train our future surgeons.  Given the nearly-decade long post-graduate training required to become a Board Certified Pediatric Surgeon, the Division of Pediatric Surgery has a unique perspective on how to navigate the challenges of surgical education. 

Because fewer hours in the hospital means fewer hours to expose residents to the complexities of general and pediatric surgery, traditional surgical training methods must be augmented if we are to maintain our high-standard of surgical excellence. 

To that end, the Division of Pediatric Surgery has embraced a variety of adjuncts to surgical education which not only fill-in gaps created by work-hour restrictions, but actually improve the quality and performance of the NYU surgical residents. 

Surgical Simulation

Numerous published studies have demonstrated the value of simulation training and how it directly enhances surgeon performance both inside and outside the operating room.  NYU has not only embraced this concept, but has propelled itself to the forefront of simulation science by joining with the City University of New York to develop the New York Simulation Center for the Health Sciences.  Located in the Bellevue Hospital Center, this 25,000 square foot facility offers eight simulation rooms including operating rooms, a wet room/disaster training room, an ICU/trauma room, and 14 patient examination rooms.  Training covers key scenarios such as operative technique, multiple patient triage, incident command, home-bound patient nursing care, and clinical and surgical emergencies.


The surgeons within the Division of Pediatric Surgery have been active participants in the NY Simulation Center, serving as proctors for a variety of training scenerios and offering key-insights into how to optimize the training of surgical residents utilizing this state-of-the-art resource. 

Cloud-Based Multimedia Education

A variety of surgical education websites have been developed to provide “outside-the-hospital” learning opportunities for surgical trainees.  These sites provide multimedia content in the form of videos, animations, and interactive tutorials to augment the traditional knowledgebase provided by surgical textbooks.  Residents can take quizes to validate their learning, and communicate with one-another across training programs via message-boards and chat-room discussions. 

Drs. Kuenzler and Fisher in the Division of Pediatric Surgery have been early pioneers in the development of these educational tools.  A large portion of the material available in the COACH archive of the Surgical Council on Resident Education related to Pediatric Surgery was developed by Drs. Kuenzler and Fisher.  Dr. Kuenzler’s work in educational video production of operating room techniques was recognized by the public web community when he was awarded a 2008 Telly Award, while Dr. Fisher was a direct contributor to the early computer programming and coding work required to develop multimedia surgical education websites.

For more information on the NYU Department of Surgery General Surgery Residency, click here.