Surgical Robotics Fellowship

Fellowship Goal
To provide general thoracic surgeons an advanced training opportunity in Robotic surgery.

Program Overview
The AATS Foundation Surgical Robotics Fellowship provides an advanced educational experience for 25 North American general thoracic awardees and their attending surgeons to spend a two-day period at Intuitive Surgical's Atlanta, GA facility to experience an advanced training course on Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci System. Successful applicants will receive a mixture of didactic and hands-on lectures to maximize the value of the Fellowship.

The Fellowship is funded and administered by the AATS Foundation and provides successful applicants with a $2,500 grant to defray the costs of roundtrip travel and accommodations to the selected training center for the fellow and their attendee. The 25 selected Fellows will be split into three groups with the first set attending a program on August 6-7, the second on August 13-14, and third on August 9-10. 

To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
  • Applicants should be a senior Fellow in thoracic surgical training or a young junior faculty member in the first five years of practice.
  • The attending surgeon joining the Fellow should have reached a senior level position in thoracic surgery and have a minimum volume of 25 robotic lobectomies in the prior rolling calendar year.​
In addition to the formal criteria, applicants will be required to complete the following items as part of the application and Fellowship;

To be completed prior to attending the 2-day course:
Da Vinci Technology Online Modules:
  • Complete a set of interactive online modules covering the basic design and operation of the da Vinci system
Da Vinci Technology Overview In-Service:
  • In-person overview of the system conducted at the hospital by an Intuitive CSR (clinical sales representative)
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 (pending hospital ownership of this device)
Two Full Length Procedure Video Reviews:
  • Review of procedure videos, available on Intuitive website
To be completed at the 2-day course:
Off Site Da Vinci Technology Training, a two-day course at an Intuitive Surgical training facility.
  • Day one: Porcine lab covering basic robotic surgical skills
  • Day two: Cadaveric lab, including instruction on patient positioning, port placement, system docking, and use of the system to perform basic surgical maneuvers (note, this training does not include instruction on surgical procedures)
To be completed after the 2-day course:
  • Upon returning to home center, Fellows should complete 7 cases as console surgeon to qualify for the Advanced Course in the Winter of 2019.

 Application Process
The deadline to submit application for the Fellowship will be February 15, 2018 with applicants being notified of the final decision within 45 days of application deadline. In addition to a formal online application, candidates will be required to upload the following materials:
  • Curriculum Vitae from both the Applicant and Attending
  • Letters of support from both their current attending surgeon and department chair or division chief
  • One to two page narrative to include: 1) what they hope to accomplish during the Fellowship; (2) the relationship of the planned study to the applicant’s prior work, preparation and professional goal; and (3) statement of future career goals.

At the conclusion of their experience a final report is required for submission to the Foundation.

Review Process
Applications will be reviewed by the AATS Foundation’s Fellowship Review Committee, which will include surgeons involved in robotic surgical treatments, and graded on all aspects of the award criteria.

Program Expansion

The AATS Foundation and Intuitive Surgical has expanded the 2018 fellowship program to include webinars and an Advanced Lobectomy Course that fellows would attend after completing a required number of cases as console surgeon and as bedside assist.

Fellows who complete the requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Advanced Lobectomy Course:
After completing the first webinar and 7 cases as console surgeon, Fellows are eligible to attend the Advanced Lobectomy course in the Winter of 2019.

The 2018 deadline has passed, please look to apply for the 2019 cycle this Fall.