Education News Stories WISE

WISE Reopening

The Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE) Center is proud to welcome new and returning residents, faculty and staff to in-person trainings this summer.

The WISE Center, which temporarily closed in response to COVID-19, reopens July 27.

WISE reopened in a limited capacity this June, carefully aligning with state and federal guidelines while still offering world-class surgical simulation training. Beginning July 27, the WISE Center will return to nearly full-capacity. This will allow more trainees to make use of the labs and equipment WISE offers, while still ensuring the safety of trainees and WISE faculty and staff.

“We are taking all of the necessary precautions,” says Michael Awad, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of WISE. “We will continue to limit the number of trainees per session, maintain social distancing and make use of PPEs.”

WISE Offerings

“We look forward to seeing our new interns making full use of the facility and all we have to offer,” says Peggy Frisella, Administrator of WISE and Manager of Research Operations for the Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

The offerings at WISE are plentiful. Residents in the General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery programs, and other School of Medicine trainees, faculty and allied health professionals, have access to surgical skills labs, high- and low-fidelity simulators, and certification testing through the WISE Center’s 4000 square-foot training facility in the Clinical Sciences Research Building (CSRB).


Foundational Skills

Master’s suturing program
Foley catheter placement
Peripheral IV insertion
Central line placement
Chest tube placement
Surgical airway
Surgical biopsy
Laparotomy incision and closure
Surgical energy
Laparoscopy basics

Intermediate Skills

Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery
Skin grafts and flaps
Axillary dissection/mastectomy
Bowel anastomosis/stoma construction
Open inguinal hernia repair
Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy/splenectomy
Vascular anastomosis

Advanced Skills

Open liver resection
Open distal pancreatectomy/splenectomy/CBDE
Laparoscopic bowel resection/anastomosis
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication
Laparoscopic colectomy
Renal transplant
AAA repair
Femoral-popliteal bypass


Low-Tech Models

Suturing/knot tying
Foley catheter
IV arm
Arterial line
Central line torso
Airway/intubation heads

Mid-Tech Models

Laparoscopic box trainer
FLS trainer
Endoscopic trainer

High-Tech Models

Da Vinci Xi Surgical Robotic System
Virtual reality laparoscopic simulators
Laparoscopic towers
Virtual reality upper/lower endoscopy simulator
GI towers
Virtual reality bronchoscopy simulator
Robotic Simulator
Ultrasound/FAST exam simulator


  • Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS)
  • Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES)
  • Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE)

“What really makes WISE exceptional is the people,” Awad emphasizes. “We have incredible space and equipment, but it is the more than 700 events and 4,000+ trainees we had in the last year that I am most proud of. From individual training sessions to large-scale events, the people who pass through our facility are truly our greatest asset.”

Virtual WISE

WISE—an American College of Surgeons (ACS) Level-1 Accredited Educational Institute (AEI)—continues to innovate and adapt. In response to COVID closures, WISE has begun offering a mobile skills lab, or “Virtual WISE.”

The Virtual WISE Lab allows expert faculty, including Mary Klingensmith, MD, the Mary Culver Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Surgery, to provide residents with laparoscopic technical skills training through virtual coaching sessions.

“We are so glad you are here!” Klingensmith, who is Vice President of the American Board of Surgery and oversees the Surgical Council on Resident Education, says to incoming residents. “WISE and all sorts of awesome educational adventures await you and our future interns.”

This new Virtual WISE modality continues to improve surgical education as the physical spaces of WISE reopen for in-person training.