Posted In Graduate Medical Education Program on January 16, 2023
TidalHealth first introduced physician-guided daVinci robotic surgery to Delmarva in 2007. For the last 16 years, it has remained on the cutting edge, offering patients the latest in robotic surgical options, including the Xi model—the newest technology platform—at both TidalHealth Peninsula Regional in Salisbury and TidalHealth Nanticoke in Seaford.
As it prepares to launch the region’s first residency training program this year for recent medical school graduates seeking to specialize in surgery, the Salisbury, Md. based health system has taken its robotics program to the next level.
In December 2022, TidalHealth Peninsula Regional became the first hospital in the region to add a dual console daVinci surgical Xi robot to its operating suite at the Salisbury hospital.
With a growing number of procedures being performed robotically and more surgeons advancing into robotics, it is essential for TidalHealth to have the dual-console system to provide the best training curriculum.
“The dual console system offers the surgeon and the trainee the ability to visualize the operative field in three dimensions, and allows the surgeon to monitor and perform portions of the operation depending on the trainee’s demonstrated skills and proficiency,” said Gopal Kowdley, MD, Ph.D., FACS, Program Director of the TidalHealth Surgical Residency Program. “This provides a high level of safety as applied to the patient and their experience at the time of the surgical procedure.”
Robot-assisted surgery is often taught with the surgical mentor at the console manipulating the instruments and the trainee watching at the patient’s bedside. The surgeon sees the surgical site through a magnified, 3D, high-definition console to control tiny instruments with greater dexterity, precision and control while performing the operation.
The daVinci dual console allows a mentor to teach with both the surgeon and the resident each working at individual consoles while viewing and participating in the same surgery simultaneously.
Of the many advantages of robotic surgery, patients can experience smaller incisions, reduced pain, less scarring and a faster recovery and return to life’s daily activities.
Kurt Wehberg, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon at TidalHealth, was a pioneer in robotic heart and lung surgery and continues to perform advanced cases using the daVinci. “The robotic operating systems offer advanced surgical procedures which require continuous training and expertise certification by surgeons and team members performing these procedures,” said Dr. Wehberg. “The dual console enables integrated teaching, expert proctoring, and advanced supervision during an operative procedure. This allows for efficient surgical precision without compromising operative times and patient outcomes.”
In September 2022, the Surgical Resident Review Committee (RRC) of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) granted the TidalHealth General Surgery Residency Program accreditation for six residents to begin in July.
This inaugural group of general surgery residents will become the second group of residents in the Graduate Medical Education Program, joining 10 internal medicine residents entering their second year. The general surgery residents will complete five years of training with the first class to complete the program in 2028.