First General Surgery Virtual Residency Program To Allow Training Anytime, Anywhere Launched In Collaboration With Ethicon

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Technology-based Platform Provides Novel Learning Experience

[junkie-alert style=”grey”] This week at the ACS Clinical Congress, Ethicon*, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies**, and Touch Surgery are joining together to introduce the first general surgery Virtual Residency Program. This unique collaboration will allow academic medical institutions to formally integrate the 3-D simulation platform into their resident training curriculum. As the surgical education community grapples with the challenge of needing to teach more surgery content in less time to surgical trainees, the Virtual Residency Program fills the gap with a mobile, app-based platform that allows trainees to practice and rehearse surgery anytime, anywhere. Early enrollment in the Virtual Residency Program is strong, with more than 75 institutions enrolled since the program was pre-released in April. [/junkie-alert]

Vice President, North America Education Solutions, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies Diana Bacci-Walsh elaborates:  “Ethicon is committed to supporting the continuing educational needs of residents and surgeons by providing access to innovative training programs that can help improve surgical outcomes and the standard of care patients receive.”  She went on to say, “The fact that we’ve seen so many resident programs in such a short time shows our customers are eager for this ground-breaking training platform and understand its potential value to enhance the surgical team’s performance in the OR.”

The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) have a longstanding commitment to professional medical education that spans more than 130 years. The collaboration is another example of JJMDC’s overall focus on delivering innovation in medical education that helps meet the needs of today’s healthcare professionals in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

James Lau, MD, Director of the Simulation Center at Stanford University said, “The Virtual Residency Program offers an engaging way for residents to learn the steps of procedures.”  He notes, “Resident learning needs to be platform-based and asynchronous as we move forward. There is nothing else like this out there.”


Ethicon has sponsored a comprehensive library of more than 30 general surgery procedures on the platform that align to ACGME requirements for residents.  Leveraging the free Virtual Residency Program, residency program directors can assign general surgery simulations to residents, track and measure their progress from a web-based dashboard, and recognize their proficiency by awarding certificates of completion upon successfully mastering a procedure. Surgical trainees can use the platform to rehearse and develop their cognitive skills, which serve as a critical foundation for performing any given surgical procedure.

“The days of the surgical atlas are over,” said Dr. Gregory Greco, Program Director of the General Surgery Training Program at Monmouth Medical Center, part of the RWJ Barnabas Health System in New Jersey. “Our residents are seeking personal, portable, and interactive educational tools.”

Published studies confirm the effectiveness of the 3D simulation app.  After using the app, novices had the same understanding as experts of the basic steps of a surgical procedure,1 and knowledge was acquired more quickly compared to traditional training methods.2

The general surgery Virtual Residency Program is currently available in the U.S.