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Thoracic Surgical Robotics Fellowship

Career Stage: Early Career Surgeons, Residents, Fellows

Program Type: Training Program or Course

Specialty: Thoracic

Status: Upcoming

Opens: September 1, 2022

Deadline: December 1, 2022

Program Overview

The AATS Foundation Thoracic Surgical Robotics Fellowship provides an advanced educational experience for North American general thoracic awardees and their attending surgeons to spend a one-day basic training course at Intuitive Surgical's Atlanta, GA or Houston, TX facilities to participate in a hands-on lab using Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci System.

The fellowship is administered by the AATS Foundation and supports successful applicants and their attending surgeons in the amount of up to $2,000* to defray the costs of travel and accommodations while participating in the one-day (TR200) Basic Training Course at their selected training center. Awarded fellows are split into smaller groups to attend different course dates. The first portion of the course is focused on the use of the da Vinci Surgical System, each awardee will work directly with an Intuitive training specialist in the lab to practice standard training protocol on a KindHeart specimen. The second part of the day is a surgeon / faculty led lab based program that focuses on the clinical application of the da Vinci Surgical System. Successful applicants receive a mixture of didactic and hands-on training to maximize the educational value of the in person experience.

Fellows are expected return to their institution and apply their training in surgical procedures with their attending surgeon. After the successful completion of a minimum number of thoracic procedures, eligible awardees will be invited to participate in a one-day (TR400) Advanced Lobectomy Training Course and will be supported in the amount of up to $1,000* to participate. Those who attend both courses and complete all program requirements will receive an AATS Foundation/ Intuitive Surgical Certificate of Completion.

*Please note that funding provided will cover travel and hotel accommodations which will be booked directly through Tangerine Travel for all fellows and attendings.

View Thoracic Surgical Robotics Fellowship recipients

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a senior resident/fellow in thoracic surgical training or a young junior thoracic faculty member in the first three years of practice.
  • Please note that cardiac residents/fellows not in their graduating year are not eligible for this award.
  • The attending surgeon joining the fellow should have reached a senior level position in thoracic surgery and has completed a minimum of 25 robotic lobectomies, segmentectomies and/or sleeve procedures in the prior rolling calendar year.
  • Have commitment from their institution to provide da Vinci case access following the TR200 and/or TR400 fellows courses (aligned with surgical rotation schedule).
  • While not required, it is strongly encouraged that PA/First Assist participate alongside the fellow for each course. Travel and lodging expenses will be arranged and covered by their local Intuitive representative and may be Sunshine Act reportable.

To be completed prior to attending the one-day (TR200) Basic Training 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 procedure videos available on Intuitive website.

To be completed after the one-day (TR200) Basic Training Course:

  • Upon returning to home center, fellows are required to complete a minimum of 7 robotic cases as console surgeon as well as submit an edited case video to qualify for the TR400 Advanced Lobectomy course in the Winter of 2023.

To be completed after the one-day (TR400) Advanced Lobectomy Course:

  • Upon returning to home center, Fellows are required to complete a minimum of 4 robotic lobectomy cases as console surgeon as well as submit an edited case video to qualify for the AATS Foundation/Intuitive Surgical Training Certificate.

Application Process

  • Applicants should provide a curriculum vitae with a full description of their surgical experience.
  • Letter of support from their current attending surgeon.
  • Attending’s robotic case logs for trailing calendar year as well as the robotic case logs for their thoracic service department.
  • A one to two page narrative to include:
    • What you hope to accomplish during the Fellowship.
    • The relationship of the planned study to your prior work, preparation, and professional goals.
    • Statement of your future career goals and plans for future practice.

At the conclusion of their experience, fellows are asked to complete a post-fellowship survey for submission to the AATS Foundation. As part of Sunshine Act requirements, the value of the course for all trainees will be reported.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed the thoracic members of the AATS Foundation’s Surgical Robotics Scholarship Committee and will be graded on all aspects of the award criteria. The review committee will select only one awardee per institution unless extenuating circumstances provide the opportunity to support two awardees.

Supported By


Program currently closed:

Program will open September 1, 2022.