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AATS Graham Foundation

Intuitive Surgical Robotics Fellowship

Intuitive Surgical

Fellowship Goal

To provide general thoracic surgeons an advanced training opportunity in Robotic surgery.

Program Overview

The AATS Graham Foundation Intuitive Surgical Robotics Fellowship provides an advanced educational experience for 20 North American general thoracic awardees and their attending surgeons to spend a two-day period at Intuitive Surgical's Sunnyvale, CA or the Atlanta, GA facility to experience an advanced training course on Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci System. Successful applicants will receive a mixture of didactic and hands-on lectures to maximize the value of the Fellowship.

The Fellowship is funded and administered by the AATS Graham Foundation and provides successful applicants with a $2,500 grant to defray the costs of roundtrip travel and accommodations to the selected training center

The 20 selected Fellows will be split into two groups of 10 with the first set attending a program on July 16-17 in Atlanta, GA and the second on August 27-28 in Sunnyvale, CA. To assist in organizing the recipient groups, during the submission process, applicants are asked to identify which program date(s) they would be available to participate.


To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
  • Applicants should be a senior Fellow in thoracic surgical training or a young junior faculty member in the first five years of practice.
  • The attending surgeon joining the Fellow should have reached a senior level position in thoracic surgery and have quarterly or monthly robotics minimum case volume.
In addition to the formal criteria, applicants will be required to complete the following items as part of the application and Fellowship;

To be completed prior to attending the 2-day course:

Da Vinci Technology Online Modules:
  • Complete a set of interactive online modules covering the basic design and operation of the da Vinci system

Da Vinci Technology Overview In-Service:

  • In-person overview of the system conducted at the hospital by an Intuitive CSR (clinical sales representative)

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 (pending hospital ownership of this device)

Two Full Length Procedure Video Reviews:

  • Review of procedure videos, available on Intuitive website

To be completed at the 2-day course:

Off Site Da Vinci Technology Training, a two-day course at an Intuitive Surgical training facility.
  • Day one: Porcine lab covering basic robotic surgical skills
  • Day two: Cadaveric lab, including instruction on patient positioning, port placement, system docking, and use of the system to perform basic surgical maneuvers (note, this training does not include instruction on surgical procedures)

To be completed after the 2-day course:

  • Upon returning to home center, Fellows should have 5-6 meaningful robotic console times to complete post one-year of training.

Application Process

In addition to a formal online application, candidates will be required to upload the following materials:
  • Curriculum Vitae from both the Applicant and Attending
  • Letters of support from both their current attending surgeon and department chair or division chief
  • One to two page narrative to include: 1) what they hope to accomplish during the Fellowship; (2) the relationship of the planned study to the applicantís prior work, preparation and professional goal; and (3) statement of future career goals.
  • At the conclusion of their experience a final report is required for submission to the Foundation.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the AATS Graham Foundationís Fellowship Review Committee, which will include surgeons involved in robotic surgical treatments, and graded on all aspects of the award criteria.

Application deadline has passed.

Intuitive Surgical Robotics Fellowship Recipients

Copyright © 2015 American Association for Thoracic Surgery
All rights reserved. IMPORTANT REMINDER: The preceding information is intended only to provide general guidance and not as a definitive basis for diagnosis or treatment in any particular case. It is very important that you consult a doctor about any specific medical problem or question.