The American College of Surgeons and MITIE Join Forces to Ensure Retraining of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons and MITIE Join Forces to Ensure Retraining of Surgeons

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The average medical student goes through a decade of education and training before they are allowed to begin practicing medicine, but how much procedural training do they receive for the next 40 or 50 years of their career?

This is a question the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Houston Methodist Institute of Technology, Innovation & Education (MITIE) are trying to answer. Barbara Lee Bass, M.D., FACS, founded MITIE in 2005 with the hopes of retraining and retooling surgeons in the ever-changing landscape of medicine.

“The concept of MITIE is that the state of simulation and education has advanced tremendously and there is an opportunity to ensure that the skills of our health care providers in practice have a non-patient based learning and training environment as opposed to learning on our patients,” Bass said.

The American College of Surgeons met at the Houston Methodist Research Institute to begin the process of establishing a national model for retooling, credentialing and privileging surgeons throughout their entire career. In an effort to keep surgeons proficient with new technologies in the surgical field, Bass and many others are turning to simulation training for surgeons rather than on-the-job experience.

“We have lived in a tradition, historically, that our training, once we were done with it, would suit us for the remainder of our 40-year career,” said David B. Hoyt, M.D., FACS, executive director of the American College of Surgeons. “That was true 35 years ago, but today technology and innovations are coming much faster, so what a surgeon learns in training will be different long before his or her career is over.”

MITIE focuses on using simulation to educate surgeons on new technologies before they are used for patients. In addition to learning on simulators, surgeons are also given the opportunity to use tele-mentoring when they are trying new techniques on patients back in their own operating rooms.

“We can look back over the last 20 years and see that the pace of technological innovation has changed rapidly but the educational landscape has not,” Bass said. “Laparoscopic surgery for example, you can look back and see how we did too much of that on our patients without adequate retooling.”

As the ACS motto states, Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes, is the main objective of creating this new model to ensure that all practicing surgeons are fit to deliver the highest quality of care throughout the entirety of their careers.

In addition to surgeons attending the conference, hospital administrators and executives, representatives of industry, insurers, liability carriers and attorneys, and health care associations attended to show on a larger scale what the benefits of retraining surgeons throughout the course of their careers can be. Those benefits include a reduction in malpractice lawsuits, better health and quality of care for patients and the advancement and sophistication of medical procedures.

“This is the first of many subsequent meetings to actually develop standards and ways to create resources to retrain our surgeons to provide the best outcomes for our patients,” Hoyt said.

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