The Washington University General Surgery Residency was one of the first surgical training programs in the country to introduce a surgical skills lab. The lab was founded in 2001 to provide residents with additional surgical simulation training outside of the operating room.

The Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE) Center is a 4,000-square foot educational space centrally located in the Clinical Sciences Research Building at the School of Medicine. WISE offers a variety of surgical skills labs and simulators. These include simple foam rubber simulators for suture practice, as well as high-tech robotic surgery and virtual reality simulators.

The lab starts the academic year with a mini “boot camp” for interns, cultivating basic skills like suturing. From there, the WISE Center’s offerings extend to residents in all years of the training program. 

Junior residents continue to focus on skills acquisition, such as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy lab. Senior residents transition their focus to higher level operative decisions and teamwork, such as a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication lab. 

Sessions are taught by the Program Director, General Surgery faculty, other faculty members representing a broad spectrum of specialties, and senior residents. 

In 2013, WISE was accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 simulation center. This accreditation defines the WISE Center as a world-class institute for surgical education.

For a complete list of certifications, labs and simulators, browse the offerings at the WISE Center.