TASSL Robotic Surgery Training Collaborative


The TASSL Robotic Surgery Training Collaborative presents an opportunity for one chief resident from each participating institution to become trained and certified prior to graduation. This will allow the resident to become credentialled at many hospitals for robotic surgery. The training program is open to one chief per institution and the chief must be going into private practice upon graduation.

The training path includes:

Robotic Surgery Curriculum


The Methodist Hospital Houston (MITIE) group has provided a proficiency-based training curriculum for robotic surgery skills that can be completed using the Intuitive Surgical Da Vinci Skills Simulator (DVSS). The original publication of this work can be found in Surgical Endoscopy:

Lyons C, Goldfarb D, Jones SL, Badhiwala N, Miles B, Link R, Dunkin BJ. Which skills really matter? Proving face, content, and construct validity for a commercial robotic simulator. Surg Endosc. 2013;27:2020-2030.


The MITIE group originally identified 8 essential skills of robotic surgery. One of the skills did not demonstrate construct validity and been removed from the list. The remaining 7 essential skills are:

  1. Pick and Place
  2. Two-Handed Transfer
  3. Wrist Manipulation
  4. Camera Control
  5. Clutching
  6. Third/Fourth Arm Control
  7. Suturing

Proficiency and Scoring

The MITIE group selected 7 exercises on the DVSS designed to focus on training the identified essential skills. Expert-derived proficiency benchmarks for each exercise are located in the table below. Mastery is achieved when the trainee achieves the proficiency benchmarks on 2 consecutive trials.

Task Overall Score Time to Complete Exercise (sec) Economy of Motion (cm) Instrument Collisions Master Workspace Range (cm) Critical Error Instruments out of View Excessive Force Applied (sec) Missed Targets Drops
Peg Board 1 81 80 180 0 10
Peg Board 2 89 113 278 0 11.1 0
Match Board 3 43 349 676 15.3 3 102 0
Ring and Rail 2 63 223 415 4 10.7 1 5 8.5
Ring Walk 3 56 162 310 3 1
Suture Sponge 3 59 326 443 1 8 0 0 13
Tubes 63 244 5 8.8 1 9

Training Logs and Assessment Tools