A Template for Curriculum Development to Teach Complex Surgical or Endoscopic Techniques With Logistical Challenges

Karen J. Dickinson, Brian J. Dunkin, Barbara L. Bass, Aman B. Ali, J. Joseph Nguyen-Lee, Stephanie Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The current, unprecedented pace of change in medicine challenges healthcare professionals to stay up-to-date. To more effectively disseminate new surgical or endoscopic techniques a modern paradigm of training is required. Our aim was to develop a curricular framework for complex techniques that provide logistical challenges to training in order to increase safe, effective use. We use colonic endoscopic submucosal dissection (cESD) as an example. Design: Curriculum development followed a multistep process representing best practice in training and education. First, a Clinical Needs Assessment established the demand for/sustainability of training. A Training Needs Analysis then identified the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to perform cESD. A modified Delphi process defined desired learner characteristics, identified indications/contraindications to cESD, and developed a procedural task list. A pilot simulation program gathered feedback from cESD faculty experts and learners. Finally, a Behavioral Observation Scale was developed as a clinical assessment tool to assess procedural performance. Setting: The Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education. Participants: The first Curriculum Design Summit engaged 11 clinical SMEs, 4 education and training SMEs, 3 market development SMEs, and 1 medical device research and design engineer. The second Curriculum Design Summit engaged 10 clinical SMEs, 4 education and training SMEs, and 4 market development SMEs. We also engaged 12 Learner SMEs at both hands-on pilot courses who currently are training to perform cESD. Results: Desired learner criteria were defined (e.g., in practice >2 years, available case volume ≥25/year) to ensure ability and motivation of learners. Lesions were classified by (1) suitability for cESD (Clinical T1N0M0, Paris 0-IIa +1s > 2 cm, 0-IIc + IIa, 0-IIc), and (2) suitability for trainee experience level. A comprehensive cESD task list was constructed and an assessment tool created based on SME review of key characteristics (e.g., comprehensiveness and usability). Conclusion: We describe a comprehensive framework to develop educational curricula for complex surgical/endoscopic techniques with logistical challenges. To illustrate the sustainability of this training model and impact on patient outcomes, we plan to further develop and implement this program nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1511-1521
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 28 2020


  • Colonoscopy
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Endoscopy
  • Simulation
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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