ISE wants to recognize and support the efforts of the Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery (FRS), a multi-specialty, proficiency-based curriculum of basic cognitive, technical, team-based and communication skills to help surgeons safely and efficiently perform robotic-assisted surgery.
A group of robotic surgery experts gather to discuss the FRS curriculum.
A group of robotic surgery experts gather to discuss the FRS curriculum.
A doctor practices with the training kit.
A doctor practices with the training kit.

The Fundamentals of Robotic (FRS) is a joint educational program funded through a Department of Defense grant and an unrestricted educational grant from Intuitive Surgical.   FRS is a multi-specialty, proficiency-based curriculum of basic technical skills to train and assess surgeons to safely and efficiently perform robotic-assisted surgery.  It was developed by over 80 national/international robotic surgery experts, behavioral psychologists, medical educators, statisticians and psychometricians. The clinical robotic surgery subject matter experts represented all of the major surgical specialties in the United States that currently performs robotic-assisted surgical procedures, the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration (VA).

This 2 year development process brought together over 80 experts from all of the major surgical specialties in the United States that currently perform robotic-assisted surgical procedures, the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.

This group conducted 4 consensus conferences including:

1) Outcome measures

2) Curriculum planning

3) Curriculum development

4) Validation study design

It is anticipated that hundreds and possibly thousands of robotic surgeons will be training and assessed utilizing the curriculum. Curriculum validation studies are presently ongoing. Clinicians can access the comprehensive curriculum.

Psychomotor skills module examples.
Psychomotor skills module examples.

The curriculum is divided into four modules, including:

Module 1: Introduction to Surgical Robotic Systems

A technological revolution occurred with the introduction of laparoscopy and other minimally invasive surgeries. This curriculum provides a primer for surgeons who choose to pursue robotic surgery.

Module 2: Didactic Instructions for Robotic Surgery Systems

This module contains the cognitive skills required to conduct safe and successful robotic procedures in the pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative phases.

Module 3: Psychomotor Skills Curriculum

The psychomotor skills curriculum was developed by international experts in robotic surgery through multiple consensus conferences. It is designed to train and assess the proficiency of surgeons interested in performing robotic surgery.

Module 4: Team Training & Communication Skills

The use of a robotic system creates unique demands, which are beyond those demands in open and laparoscopic surgery.   The principle difference is the physical separation of the primary surgeon from the patient, the operative team members and operative site.  The result is that the surgeon must rely even more upon team participation and clear, unambiguous communication with team members.

After each module there is a summative assessment and report of your performance.