Menu button

ASMBS Surgical Technique and Advanced Robotics Training (START) Program

The educational program consists of faculty-led virtual didactic sessions, local mentoring by an experienced bariatric robotics surgeon, and hands-on mentored experiences at training facilities with the da Vinci Surgical System. The program trains bariatric-focused fellows who are currently in a Fellowship Council-approved fellowship program. Each fellow spends one day in the faculty-led program on-site at a training facility. In addition, each fellow attends and participates in a special didactic session and graduation ceremony for this program to be held at the ASMBS Annual Meeting (Fellows will be funded to attend the on-site training and ASMBS Annual Meeting. See below for funding guidelines).

The 2023 pilot training pathway was open to 15 fellows during the 2022-2023 academic year. Virtual didactic sessions are open to all fellow trainees. The recordings from the pilot program can be viewed here.

Check back for 2023/2024 ASMBS START Program details!

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Applicant must be an ASMBS member or have submitted an application for ASMBS membership. Candidate Membership is complimentary.
  2. Enrollment in an FELLOWSHIP COUNCIL-approved fellowship program eligible for the ASMBS Fellowship Certificate
  3. Senior fellow in an FELLOWSHIP COUNCIL-approved fellowship program
  4. Commitment from the Fellowship Program Director or Lead Attending to mentor trainee throughout the program through attainment five (5) bariatric cases performed on da Vinci prior to the hands-on course, plus an additional 20 cases performed by the end of the 2022-2023 academic year
  5. UPDATE: Didactic Sessions
    a. Commitment from the Applicant to attend and participate in all virtual didactic sessions (one per month)
    b. The Fellowship Program Director is welcome and encouraged to attend all virtual didactic sessions (one per month)
  6. and the didactic/graduation session at the ASMBS 2023 Annual Meeting (June 27-29)
  7. Commitment from institutions to provide updates on cases performed using the da Vinci System prior to and following the fellowship program
  8. Access to a fourth generation da Vinci X/Xi System
  9. Annual surgeon mentor robotic minimum volume in the last twelve (12) months, including
    a. Thirty (30) bariatric surgery robotic cases
    b. Seventy-five (75) total bariatric surgery robotic cases by the hospital or program

Fees: The ASMBS START Program is free of charge* for all selected applicants.

  • Fellow will be funded* to attend the on-site training and the ASMBS Annual Meeting.
  • Funding includes airfair, hotel, registration, and ground transportation from the airport to the venue hotel and back.
  • Meals, incidentals, airport parking are the responsiblity of the Fellow.

Course Details

Program Directors:
Matthew Martin, MD, FACS, USC Medical Center
Adrian Dan, MD, FACS, Summa Health

Faculty Members:
Shaina Eckhouse, MD
Maher El Chaar, MD
Monique Hassan, MD, MBA, FACS, DABOM
S. Julie-Ann Lloyd, MD PhD
Scott Schimpke, MD, FACS
Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD

Learning Objectives: A range of robotic topics will be covered with emphasis placed on bariatric procedures, current and future robotics technology, application of robotic surgery in a wide range of general surgery procedures, and safe and practical application of robotics in general surgery cases. At the end of the course, MIS fellows will have a robust understanding of the technical, procedural, and surgical skills required to successfully complete procedures on a da Vinci Xi system.

Onsite Training

Onsite Training Date: TBA

Location: The ASMBS START Program onsite training will take place at a training lab in Norcross, GA (ATL airport) as permitted by federal, state, local, institutional, and facility orders/policies pertaining to health and safety as related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our attendees, faculty and laboratory personnel is our top priority. In the event we are not able to convene in person on these dates due to pandemic-related travel or group gathering bans, the courses will be postponed to later dates.

Didactic Training

  1. Didactic virtual pre-work to be provided to fellows by the Society and completed prior to attending the educational program at training facility
  2. Up to Ten (10) Webinars, including but not limited to:
    a. Pre-course didactic, procedure lecture, video review and career development
    b. Post-course fellows case video presentation, review, and discussion with faculty
    c. Final capstone webinar, transition to practice and resources session
  3. Didactic post-course session and graduation ceremony held at the ASMBS Annual Meeting

Training Schedule

ASMBS START Didactic and Onsite Training Schedule

Training DateTimeTopicFaculty*
Oct. 25, 20227:00 PM ETRobotic Sleeve GastrectomyMonique Hassan, MD, MBA, FACS, DABOM
Nov. 29, 20227:00 PM ETRobotic Gastric BypassScott Schimpke, MD, FACS
Dec. 14, 20227:00 PM ETRobotic DS and SADIShaina Eckhouse, MD
Jan. 24, 2023All dayOnsite Training Date, Norcross, GAAll Faculty
Feb. 27, 20237:00 PM ETRobotic Revisional SurgeryDimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD
Mar. 28, 20237:00 PM ETRobotic Challenges & Bariatric Complication ManagementMaher El Chaar, MD
Apr. 25, 20237:00 PM ETOpen House Webinar 1Matthew Martin, MD, FASMBS and Monique Hassan, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
May 30, 20237:00 PM ETOpen House Webinar 2Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS, FSSH and Maher El Chaar, MD, FACS
Jun. 26-29, 2023All dayASMBS 2023 Annual MeetingAll Faculty
*Each webinar will have one primary lecturer, but all faculty are invited to assist.

Course Requirements

To be completed prior to attending the course:

  1. Da Vinci Technology Online Modules covering the basic design and operation of the da Vinci System. Certificate of completion issued by Intuitive upon completion of module in Intuitive Learning and provided to society as proof of basic didactic training by fellow
  2. Da Vinci Technology Overview In-person In-Service covering an overview of the system conducted at the hospital by an Intuitive Clinical Sales Representative (CSR)
  3. Completion of Da Vinci Technology Skills Drills with Kit/Simulator hands-on practice with the system, either with a physical skills drill kit, or a virtual reality skills simulator, including
Da Vinci SimulatorsSimNow
Thread the ringsBig Dipper Needle Driver
Matchboard 1Sea Spikes 2
Camera Targeting 1 & 220 Degree Scope Swap, Combo Exercise
Energy SwitchingEnergy Pedals 1
Suture Sponge 1Anterior Needle Driving -ATW
Robotic stapler familiarizationRobotic stapler familiarization
  1. Completion of five (5) robotic cases prior to hands-on/in-person program
  2. Console competency for basic surgical tasks as determined by their attending or program (attending will provide a letter attesting to basic technical competency of fellow)

Case Logging

  • Participants in the course will track their cases using the My Intuitive App (MIA), which is a companion app for the da Vinci Xi surgical system

ASMBS gratefully acknowledges Intuitive Surgical for their generous educational grant in support of the ASMBS START Program.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now