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Project 6 Summit: SAGES telementoring initiative

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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.

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Drs. Schlachta, Nguyen, Ponsky and Dunkin all contributed to the design, writing and review of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Christopher M. Schlachta.

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Dr. Schlachta has received support for education programming from Ethicon. Dr. Nguyen has nothing to disclose. Dr. Ponsky is owner of Globalcast MD. Dr. Dunkin has received speaking honoraria from Boston Scientific, Olympus, Ethicon, Medtronic and Gore. Dr. Dunkin is a consultant for Olympus, Ethicon and Gore.

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Schlachta, C.M., Nguyen, N.T., Ponsky, T. et al. Project 6 Summit: SAGES telementoring initiative. Surg Endosc 30, 3665–3672 (2016).

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