Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 3665–3672 | Cite as

Project 6 Summit: SAGES telementoring initiative

  • Christopher M. Schlachta
  • Ninh T. Nguyen
  • Todd Ponsky
  • Brian Dunkin
White Paper



Advances in telecommunications technology have facilitated telementoring initiatives that virtually link a mentor and mentee in the operating room and have shown significant promise in conferring high rates of safe procedure adoption. Recognizing that telementoring has the potential to be one solution to the global demand for what is sure to be a constant need for surgical retraining and safe incorporation of new technologies, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) convened the Project 6 Summit.


Content experts in minimally invasive surgery, surgical mentoring and telementoring, surgical education, business development, healthcare innovation, and regulation were invited to attend a two-day summit to outline the current state of surgical telementoring and chart the challenges and opportunities going forward.


Five opportunity buckets consisting of: Legal and Regulatory, Business Development and Proving Value, Effective Communication and Education Requirements, Technology Requirements and Logistics were the subject of focused working groups and subsequent review and consensus by summit attendees. The current state-of-the-art and guiding principles are presented herein.


Telementoring activities are poised for exponential growth but will require a coordinated effort by stakeholders working through and around a healthcare system not yet suited for this paradigm shift.


Telementoring Mentoring Laparoscopy Minimally invasive surgery Quality 


  1. 1.
    NIH Consensus Development Program (1992) Gallstones and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. NIH Consens Statement 10(3):1–20.
  2. 2.
    Fowler DL, White SA (1991) Laparoscopy-assisted sigmoid resection. Surg Laparosc Endosc 1:183–188CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jacobs M, Verdeja JC, Goldstein HS (1991) Minimally invasive colon resection (laparoscopic colectomy). Surg Laparosc Endosc 1:144–150PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Moghadamyeghaneh Z, Carmichael JC, Mills S, Pigazzi A, Nguyen NT, Stamos MJ (2015) Variations in laparoscopic colectomy utilization in the United States. Dis Colon Rectum 58(10):950–956CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    The Medical Device Industry in the United States. Accessed 20 Dec 2015
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Kovacs E, Schmidt AE, Szocska G, Busse R, McKee M, Legido-Quigley H (2014) Licensing procedures and registration of medical doctors in the European Union. Clin Med 14(3):229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Schlachta
    • 1
  • Ninh T. Nguyen
    • 2
  • Todd Ponsky
    • 3
  • Brian Dunkin
    • 4
  1. 1.Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR), University HospitalLondon Health Sciences CentreLondonCanada
  2. 2.University of California Irvine Medical CenterOrangeUSA
  3. 3.Akron Children’s HospitalAkronUSA
  4. 4.Houston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations