SAGES STEP (Surgeons Training Endoscopic Proficiency) Application

STEP has now nearly 70 institutions taking part in the program.  We hope to expand this program to another 35 institutions during 2012. Please check back here for updated information.

Flexible endoscopy is increasingly central to the practice of general surgery. As many as 50% of practicing surgeons depend on colonoscopy and upper endoscopy for a substantial portion of their practice; conversely, many communities in the US and Canada rely on their general surgeon to provide access to essential endoscopic procedures. Finally, there is a natural evolution of surgical disease treatments towards less invasive alternatives which increasingly includes interventional flexible endoscopic alternatives to surgical approaches. Procedures such as common bile duct exploration, pancreatic pseudocyst drainage, colectomy for benign neoplasm, esophagectomy for Barretts disease and many others are no longer approached in a traditional surgical manner. As this list grows, surgeons will find themselves increasingly cut out of the treatment of these diseases unless they adopt interventional endoscopic approaches. Recognizing this, the RRC-Surgery/ACGME has recently increased the residency training requirements for flexible endoscopy. This creates a burden for residency program directors who often lack both the equipment and curricula to train residents in the fundamentals of flexible endoscopy. In an effort to promote surgeon’s involvement in flexible endoscopy and to help program directors to train their residents, SAGES and Olympus have developed the STEP program.

Through their generosity and desire to contribute to the endoscopic training of General Surgeons, Olympus has agreed to donate a complete flexible endoscopy  setup (tower, monitor, light source, colonoscope, Upper scope and instruments) to residency training programs who meet certain requirements. SAGES will contribute a complete curriculum as well as conduct training programs for the site educators in flexible endoscopy.

Participation criteria:

The STEP project is intended for ACGME approved general surgery residency programs in the US and Canada. Programs may be either University based or at a community teaching hospital. The program must have the following:

  • Adequate and accessible space to house the endoscopic equipment
  • A program director or designee who:
    • Is a SAGES member
    • Will be responsible for administering the curricula
    • Will be responsible for ensuring the equipment remains operative
    • Agrees to attend a “train the trainer” seminar supported by SAGES and Olympus
    • Is responsible for completing and submitting quarterly report forms detailing use of the equipment and curricula
    • Will participate in a program participant’s meeting at the SAGES annual meeting

It will be a requirement that the Institution sign a contractual agreement to maintain the donated equipment, administer a structured curriculum, provide access to surgeons in training to the donated equipment, complete and submit the required documentation in a timely and conscientious manner. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in the revocation of the agreement and withdrawal of the endoscopic equipment.

If you feel that this program would contribute to the education of your residents and that you can comply with the above requirements, we encourage you to complete the attached application and submit it to the SAGES office.