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Surgical Simulation Center Receives National Accreditation


The University of Utah School of Medicine is pleased to announce that the Utah Center for Innovation and Simulation in Education (U-CISE) is now an American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institute (ACS-AEI). This accreditation places U-CISE in the company of 80 other surgical simulation centers in the United States, and denotes excellence in the development, delivery, and evaluation of surgical education programs.

"This accreditation is a testament to all of the hard work done by the students, faculty, and support staff," says Daniel Vargo, M.D., professor of surgery and director of surgical simulation. "We have built a facility that will help future surgeons learn best practices and help faculty improve surgical education."

U-CISE gives residents the opportunity to perfect techniques before they ever set foot in the operating room. Skills taught by medical school staff range from basic suture and knot tying to emergency airway training, to the handling of fine tissue. The center serves as a testing center for both the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery exam and the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery exam.

Many of the tools used by residents at U-CISE were developed in the center to make teaching more cost effective – while improving training opportunities. Ruth Braga, R.N., M.S.N., nurse educator in the Department of Surgery developed and built suturing practice blocks for a fraction of the cost of those available commercially. Due to the lower cost more blocks are available giving residents more time to practice. Now that U-CISE is a member of the ACS-AEI program, the blocks developed here in Utah may eventually be used in surgical education nationwide.

The American College of Surgeons launched the Accredited Education Institute program in 2005. Since then they have accredited surgical simulation centers in more than 10 countries. The accreditation effort started at the University of Utah two years ago.