UNMC designated one of three national endoscopic surgery testing centers

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is one of the first three centers in the country to be designated as a testing center for the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) program.

The program is a comprehensive educational and assessment tool designed to teach and evaluate the fundamental knowledge, clinical judgment and technical skills required for basic gastrointestinal endoscopic surgery. It also teaches fundamentals of endoscopic surgery in a consistent, scientifically accepted format and to test cognitive and technical skills, while improving the quality of patient care.

“Being able to use flexible endoscopy for upper GI procedures and colonoscopies is a very important skill for surgeons,” said Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D., the Joseph and Richard Still Endowed Professor of Surgery. “Just like you have to pass a driving test to be able to drive a car, the testing center will allow us to make sure that surgeons are proficient in endoscopic procedures.”

The UNMC center was made possible in part by a donation from Paul Hodgson, M.D., establishing the Paul E. Hodgson, M.D. Innovations in Surgical Technology Fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation. Dr. Hodgson, former chairman of the UNMC Department of Surgery, died Aug. 28 at the age of 91.

Dr. Hodgson's fund paid for half of the equipment and materials needed for the testing center. The other half of the funding will come from the Alton K. Wong, M.D., Distinguished Professorship held by pediatric surgeon Ken Azarow, M.D.

The testing center equipment is located in the Dr. Wayne and Eileen Ryan Surgical Simulation Suite in the Sorrell Center.

“Under the guidance of our chairman, Dr. David W. Mercer, and his unequivocal support of educational efforts, the department of surgery is on the path to becoming a regional and national leader in surgical education,” said Chandra Are, M.B.B.S., vice chair for education and associate professor, surgical oncology. “Obtaining the designation as a testing center for the FES program is another milestone in satisfying the vision of our department to become an educational powerhouse.”

Being designated as a FES testing center culminates a lengthy certification process for UNMC, Dr. Oleynikov said, and is indicative of how UNMC “has become a leader in education in the region.”

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