First Graduates of the European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS)
Today, the European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS) announced the first six delegates who have met the criteria for competence in performing robotic colon and rectal surgery based on the assessment process set out by the Academy:
The EARCS training programme is designed to improve patient outcomes for European colorectal cancer patients by improving the entire surgical learning pathway for minimally invasive surgery, including technology, training, mentor relationships and data evaluation. Within this framework, the delegates undertook three phases of training:
1. Case observations at faculty member institutions
2. System and dissection training course
3. Hands on training at the faculty member's hospital and/or trainee's own hospital
The delegates completed a number of left (colon/sigmoid) and rectal resections under direct supervision of the faculty before being eligible for final assessment of competence. The final assessment stage required delegates to submit non-edited videos of self-perfomed sigmoid colon and rectal resections for blind assessment by the faculty.
"Training colorectal surgeons to support the growing interest in robotic surgery, particlarly for rectal resection, is a critical step towards ensuring that health care providers are successful in their adoption and meaningful use of the latest techniques for minimally invasive surgery" said Prof. Amjad Parvaiz, Co-Director of EARCS. "The EARCS training programme delivers a comprehensive approach to address the needs of colorectal surgeons wishing to adopt robotic surgical systems. The Academy is designed to deliver competent professionals who are proficient in all facets of robotic colorectal surgery."
Currently, EARCS is training 66 surgeons from 13 European countries, of which 18 are going through their final assessment and expected to graduate this year.