Simulation and Training Laboratory

In 1998, the UT Southwestern Medical Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery established one of the best (and earliest) skills labs in the United States. The Simulation and Training Laboratory is housed in the medical school building and contains a wide variety of heavily utilized simulation equipment within its 1,500-square-feet. In June 2006 the Center became accredited through the American College of Surgeons as a Regional Education Institute.

Simulation and Training Lab
Simulation and Training Lab

The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery offers educational and training programs for students, residents, nurses, practicing physicians, and other allied health professionals. The core of its mission is to provide the most up-to-date education and training in minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Numerous modalities, including didactic lectures, computer-based tutorials, laparoscopic and virtual reality simulators, bench models, live surgery videoconferencing, and hands-on practice on operative models, are used to facilitate teaching knowledge, judgment, and technical skill components. Much of this teaching is conducted in the Simulation and Training Laboratory, as well as other center and campus facilities.

Simulators include a six-station Karl Storz Videotrainer (equipped with the five "Southwestern" stations, as well as FLS models and Common Bile Duct Exploration models), three MIST VR Systems, TEP Inguinal Hernia models, a Simbionix UroMentor and GIMentor, a B&K Ultrasound Machine and Sono Phantoms, and stereotactic breast biopsy equipment.

Numerous ongoing training courses are routinely offered and are supervised by the center's education coordinator, Kristine Gilberg-Fisher, R.N., and Seifu Tesfay, R.N., M.S., and faculty from several departments.

Skills Lab Curricula Video Tutorials

Download the training videos listed below to your desktop and view using RealPlayer. The player is free and can be obtained from the RealNetworks website.

Open Knot Tying and Suturing Curriculum

Southwestern Videotrainer Skills Tutorials

Open Knot Tying and Suture Curriculum - Intermediate

Skills Lab Curricula And Supporting Materials

Surgery Residents

General Open Knot-Tying and Suturing:

  • Curriculum
  • Score sheets
  • Video Tutorials (above)
  • Pre-Test Questionnaire 
  • Post-Test Questionnaire
  • References - Scott DJ, Goova MT, Tesfay ST. A Cost-effective proficiency-based knot-tying and suturing curriculum for residency programs. J Surg Res, 141:7-15, 2007.Goova MT, Hollet LA, Tesfay ST, Gala RB, Puzziferri N, Kehdy FJ, Scott DJ. Implementation, construct validity, and benefit of a proficiency-based knot-tying and suturing curriculum. J Surg Education (in press)

Trauma/Critical care:


  • Curricula
  • Scoresheets
    • Percutaneous Breast Biopsy
    • Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy
    • Breast Cryoablation




Team Training:

3rd Year Medical Students and PA Students

MS3 Skills Poster Presentation:
Naylor RA, Hollett LA, Mitchell IC, Bowling MW, Ma A, Dineen SP, Bruns BR, Scott DJ. Can medical students achieve skills proficiency through simulation training? Surgical Education Week, Association for Surgical Education, Toronto, Canada, Apr. 15-19, 2008.

4th Year Medical Students (Preparation for Surgical Internship Course)

Department Of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstetric and Gynecology Residents

  • Open Knot-tying and Suturing
  • Lap II Basic & Advanced Laparoscopic Skills: FLS
  • Basic Laparoscopic and Open Cadaver Course
  • Team Training: Laparoscopic Patient Safety, Communication, and Leadership (joint curriculum with Departments of Surgery, Gynecology, Anesthesia, and Nursing)

3rd Year Medical Students and PA Students

  • Lap I Basic Laparoscopic Skills (Introduction)

Department Of Urology

  • UroMentor: Cystoscopy, Uretersocopy, and Percutaneous Nephrostomy
  • LapMentor: Laparoscopic Skills

Department Of Anesthesia

  • Team Training: Laparoscopic Patient Safety, Communication, and Leadership (joint curriculum with Departments of Surgery, Gynecology, Anesthesia, and Nursing)