Menu button
ASMBS Logo

ASMBS Surgical Technique and Advanced Robotics Training (START) Program

The educational program will consist of faculty-led virtual didactic sessions, local mentoring by an experienced bariatric robotics surgeon, and hands-on mentored experiences at training facilities with the da Vinci Surgical System. The program will train bariatric-focused fellows who are currently in a FELLOWSHIP COUNCIL-approved fellowship program. Each fellow will spend one day in the faculty-led program on-site at a training facility. In addition, each fellow will attend and participate in a special didactic session and graduation ceremony for this program to be held at the ASMBS 2023 Annual Meeting (fellow will be funded to attend the meeting by ASMBS).

This pilot training pathway is open to a maximum of 15 fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year. Virtual didactic sessions will be open to all fellow trainees.


The application window for 2022 is open!

The application window will be open from September 1-30.

All applications must include all items below to be accepted as complete:

  • Completed START Application Form, signed by applicant’s Program Director pdf
  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Attending Surgeon’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of support from current program director and/or attending surgeon
  • One to two-paragraph narrative to include: (1) what they hope to accomplish during the program and(2) the relationship of the planned study to the applicant’s prior work, preparation and professional goal

If you have any questions regarding your application, please email bst@asmbs.org.

Review Process: Applications will be reviewed for eligibility* by ASMBS. Applicants will be notified via email by October 14.

*We are currently not accepting international applicants.


Course Details

Program Directors:
Matthew Martin, MD, FACS, USC Medical Center
Adrian Dan, MD, FACS, Summa Health

Core Faculty Members:
Shaina Eckhouse, MD
Maher El Chaar, MD
Monique Hassan, MD, MBA, FACS, DABOM
Scott Schimpke, MD, FACS
Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD

Learning Objectives: A range of robotic topics will be covered with emphasis placed on bariatric procedures, current and future robotics technology, application of robotic surgery in a wide range of general surgery procedures, and safe and practical application of robotics in general surgery cases. At the end of the course, MIS fellows will have a robust understanding of the technical, procedural, and surgical skills required to successfully complete procedures on a da Vinci Xi system.

Onsite Training

Onsite Training Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Location: The ASMBS START Program onsite training will take place at a training lab in Norcross, GA (ATL airport) as permitted by federal, state, local, institutional, and facility orders/policies pertaining to health and safety as related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our attendees, faculty and laboratory personnel is our top priority. In the event we are not able to convene in person on these dates due to pandemic-related travel or group gathering bans, the courses will be postponed to later dates.

Didactic Training

  1. Didactic virtual pre-work to be provided to fellows by the Society and completed prior to attending the educational program at training facility
  2. Up to Ten (10) Webinars, including but not limited to:
    a. Pre-course didactic, procedure lecture, video review and career development
    b. Post-course fellows case video presentation, review, and discussion with faculty
    c. Final capstone webinar, transition to practice and resources session
  3. Didactic post-course session and graduation ceremony held at the ASMBS 2023 Annual Meeting

Training Schedule

ASMBS START Didactic and Onsite Training Schedule

Training DateTimeTopicFaculty*
Oct. 25, 20227:00 PM ETRobotic Sleeve GastrectomyMonique Hassan, MD, MBA, FACS, DABOM
Nov. 29, 20227:00 PM ETRobotic Gastric BypassShaina Eckhouse, MD
Dec. 14, 20227:00 PM ETRobotic DS and SADIScott Schimpke, MD, FACS
Jan. 24, 2023All dayOnsite Training Date, Norcross, GAAll Faculty
Feb. 27, 20237:00 PM ETRobotic Revisional SurgeryDimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD
Mar. 29, 20237:00 PM ETRobotic Challenges & Bariatric Complication ManagementMaher El Chaar, MD
Apr. 25, 20237:00 PM ETOpen House Webinar 1All Faculty
May 30, 20237:00 PM ETOpen House Webinar 2All Faculty
Jun. 26-29, 2023All dayASMBS 2023 Annual MeetingAll Faculty
*Each webinar will have one primary lecturer, but all faculty are invited to assist.

Course Requirements

To be completed prior to attending the course:

  1. Da Vinci Technology Online Modules covering the basic design and operation of the da Vinci System. Certificate of completion issued by Intuitive upon completion of module in Intuitive Learning and provided to society as proof of basic didactic training by fellow
  2. Da Vinci Technology Overview In-person In-Service covering an overview of the system conducted at the hospital by an Intuitive Clinical Sales Representative (CSR)
  3. Completion of 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, including
Da Vinci SimulatorsSimNow
Thread the ringsBig Dipper Needle Driver
Matchboard 1Sea Spikes 2
Camera Targeting 1 & 220 Degree Scope Swap, Combo Exercise
Energy SwitchingEnergy Pedals 1
Suture Sponge 1Anterior Needle Driving -ATW
Robotic stapler familiarizationRobotic stapler familiarization
  1. Completion of five (5) robotic cases prior to hands-on/in-person program
  2. Console competency for basic surgical tasks as determined by their attending or program (attending will provide a letter attesting to basic technical competency of fellow)

Fees: The ASMBS START Program is free of charge* for all selected applicants.


Applicant Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Applicant must be an ASMBS member or have submitted an application for ASMBS membership
  2. Enrollment in an FELLOWSHIP COUNCIL-approved fellowship program eligible for the ASMBS Fellowship Certificate
  3. Senior fellow in an FELLOWSHIP COUNCIL-approved fellowship program
  4. Commitment from the Fellowship Program Director or Lead Attending to mentor trainee throughout the program through attainment five (5) bariatric cases performed on da Vinci prior to the hands-on course, plus an additional 20 cases performed by the end of the 2022-2023 academic year
  5. UPDATE: Didactic Sessions
    a. Commitment from the Applicant to attend and participate in all virtual didactic sessions (one per month)
    b. The Fellowship Program Director is welcome and encouraged to attend all virtual didactic sessions (one per month)
  6. and the didactic/graduation session at the ASMBS 2023 Annual Meeting (June 27-29)
  7. Commitment from institutions to provide updates on cases performed using the da Vinci System prior to and following the fellowship program
  8. Access to a fourth generation da Vinci X/Xi System
  9. Annual surgeon mentor robotic minimum volume in the last twelve (12) months, including
    a. Thirty (30) bariatric surgery robotic cases
    b. Seventy-five (75) total bariatric surgery robotic cases by the hospital or program

Case Logging

  • Society will monitor and track cases performed using da Vinci Systems and logged by the fellow throughout the academic year
  • Participants in the course will track their cases using the My Intuitive App (MIA), which is a companion app for the da Vinci Xi surgical system

ASMBS gratefully acknowledges Intuitive Surgical for their generous educational grant in support of the ASMBS START Program.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×