About the Surgical Education Scholars (SES) Program

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The APGO Surgical Education Scholars Program is an initiative of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO). Its purpose is to enhance surgical education in obstetrics and gynecology by preparing ob-gyn physician faculty to possess the skills and knowledge necessary to be outstanding surgical teachers and educational administrators. The program is funded by tuition, supplemental funds from the APGO Development Fund and unrestricted educational grants from corporate sponsors.

Program Purpose
The goal of this program is to provide a mechanism, on a national level, that develops confident professional surgical educators who are prepared to implement surgical curricula at teaching institutions across the United States and Canada. The program also strives to prepare participants to conduct multi-institutional research and validation of surgical education methodologies, which in turn will improve women’s health care.

Graduates of this program will be prepared and expected to fulfill major surgical educational responsibilities and positions within their medical centers.

The course will include sessions on adult learning in surgical settings including better ways of giving feedback and teaching skills. Participants will also explore techniques that will better prepare learners to understand the principles of patient safety and will use pre-operative checklist development and simulation to help improve surgical education. The concepts of low fidelity vs. high fidelity simulation as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each will be discussed. Various surgical practices, procedures and equipment will be used in hands-on labs, lectures and practical assignments.

The curriculum will consist of four major components:

  • Formal instruction through didactic sessions, small group work and hands-on labs
  • Assessment, measurement, implementation and evaluation
  • Conducting research, overcoming barriers, recognizing bias and analyzing statistics
  • Small team and one-on-one leadership and management skills

Upon completion of the curriculum, it is expected that graduates will be skilled in:

  • Conducting needs assessments
  • Small team/one-on-one clinical instruction in low and high-tech surgical settings
  • Implementing patient safety techniques while teaching
  • Employing surgical checklists
  • Assessment of learner performance/knowledge
  • Giving constructive feedback to learners
  • Small team and one-on-one management and leadership skills
  • Conducting surgical educational research projects

The faculty includes nationally recognized clinicianeducators and leaders in APGO. In addition, local mentors (at scholars’ home institutions) will be asked to provide significant support to the physician-scholars enrolled in this program. For a list of the faculty, click here.

Frequency of Offering
The next cycle will begin in September 2021 and will last 18 months. The course will begin every other year thereafter. Approximately 24 scholars will be accepted into each program.

The program is designed to be vigorous, interesting and interactive. The didactic portion is no more than 50% of the course, with case studies, hands-on labs, problem solving and other interactive experiences completing the curriculum. Each session is evaluated at its completion and on an ongoing basis, with in-course modifications as deemed appropriate. A research project is an essential part of this program, with completion of this required for graduation.

Graduation will not occur until each scholar has attended and fully participated in each educational session of the program, has completed his/her project, and satisfied all other requirements of the program.

Time Considerations

  • Two (2) freestanding 2-day meetings in September of 2021 and September 2022,
  • Two (2) 2-day meetings in advance of two (2) CREOG & APGO Annual Meetings, and
  • Full participation in two (2) 4-day CREOG & APGO Annual Meetings in March 2022 and March 2023.

At two (2) CREOG & APGO Annual Meetings, physician-students will be asked to arrive two days earlier than the standard meeting time. Between meetings, physician-students will engage in various assignments and projects. Though impossible to state an estimated number of hours per week, it is anticipated that the time demands, though not overwhelming, will be considerable due to the intensive curriculum.

Selection of Physician-Students
All candidates must hold membership in APGO and have a strong interest in and evidence of participation in ob-gyn educational activities. It is expected that all candidates have abundant practical experience in a wide variety of ob-gyn surgical procedures and use of surgical equipment. Surgical procedures and use of surgical equipment will not be taught in this course; rather, they will be used as vehicles to demonstrate surgical education methodologies and patient safety. Preference is given to individuals who currently fulfill defined surgical administrative positions.

The candidate must complete the online application and provide the following supplementary documentation. These documents should be saved together as one PDF.

  • A biosketch (NIH Format) detailing past educational experience;
  • Completed and signed Statement of Department Chair Commitment and Support
  • A separate cover letter from your chair stating what he/she expects the value of your participation will be to your university or institution; and
  • A cover letter (limited to two pages, double-spaced) indicating why you want to participate in this course and how you intend to use the knowledge and skills gained from this experience.

All applications must be completed and submitted electronically. Facsimiles and hard copies will not be accepted.

Upon acceptance into the program, scholars will be asked to sign an agreement wherein the candidate pledges to satisfactorily fulfill all elements of the curriculum, including modifications as deemed necessary by the faculty, to attend all sessions at all meetings, to complete all assignments, including a project and poster presentation.

In addition, each candidate will endorse a clear understanding that evaluation of ongoing participation and completion of this program is solely the decision of the faculty. Failure to participate fully will lead to dismissal, for which there will be no refund of fees.

The program is limited to 24 participants. Please note that if more than one person applies from the same institution, it is assumed that, should both of these individuals be selected, they will both be able to participate.

Financial Considerations
The cost for each physician-student will be $4,000 for 18-month duration of the program. This will be due by July 15, 2021. In addition, the department of the physician-student is expected to provide: Travel, air and hotel expenses for all four required meetings and registration fees for the two (2) CREOG & APGO Annual Meetings in March 2022 and 2023. Travel arrangements are to be made by the physician-student. The tuition fee of $4,000 will be payable upon confirmation by APGO of the physician-student’s acceptance into this program. A $75.00 non-refundable application fee is due and payable with the submission of the online application.

Required Meeting Dates for the September 2020 – March 2022 Cycle:

Meeting 1: Westin Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis, MD
September 2021

Meeting 2: Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, FL
March 8 – 12, 2022, includes the 2022 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting

Meeting 3: George Washington University, Washington, DC
September 2022

Meeting 4 and Graduation:
February/March 2023