The University of Arizona
Department of Surgery

Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery Clinical Fellowship Program

The ACES Clinical Fellowship has been accredited through the Fellowship Council since 2012 as an Advanced GI MIS Fellowship.
As part of a major academic medical center, the Arizona Center for Endoscopic Surgery (ACES) excels in training, research and clinical programs. Our dual purpose is to train those who will provide top quality patient care and be academic leaders in minimally invasive and robotic surgery. Our fellows in turn will train many physicians for practice in communities across the country. This emphasis makes our fellowship one of the most unique programs in the United States.
This program is for any individual who has completed 5 years in a general surgery residency (United States, Canada, or abroad). Applicants must have an interest in developing advanced skills in minimally invasive, robotic and bariatric surgical techniques, as well as acquire experience in the medical management of morbid obesity. Applicants must be proficient in written and spoken English. One fellow will be appointed each year.
The overall purpose of this program is to train surgeons interested in an academic career in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. This program is expected to dramatically improve the quality of education to surgical residents and medical students, to improve the efficiency of teaching laparoscopic surgical skills, to decrease the time it takes to conduct simple laparoscopic operations at University of Arizona Medical Center—University Campus and University of Arizona Medical Center—South Campus, to reduce the cost of laparoscopic surgery, and to develop a new structured curriculum for training surgical residents in a laboratory setting.
This fellowship program has three main objectives:
  1. To develop advanced operative skills in the area of laparoscopic surgery
  2. To learn the principles of adult learning and how to teach laparoscopic operative skills to surgical residents
  3. To develop fundamental research skills in clinical, experimental, and educational surgery in the area of laparoscopic surgery
Graduates of this program are expected to be able to carry out advanced laparoscopic operations independently, to develop and manage a center of minimally invasive surgery, and to be able to teach the fundamental skills of laparoscopic surgery.
The curriculum is designed to provide the fellow with the opportunity to attain proficiency in patient selection, pre and postoperative care, operative skills, and perioperative care of patients undergoing minimally invasive procedures.
The fellow training experience will be spent primarily in general surgery and bariatric surgery procedures such as:
  • Hiatal hernia repair and fundoplication
  • Primary bariatric procedures and revisional procedures
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Complex ventral hernia
  • Solid organ surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Clinical Training
    • Pre-Operative Care
      • The fellow is expected to attend the outpatient office hours of the fellowship director on Mondays at University Campus (General Surgery & Bariatric Clinic) and Wednesdays at South Campus (General Surgery & Bariatric Clinic) each week. The fellow may also attend office hours of other teaching staff.
      • The fellow is expected to meet the patient in the holding area prior to going into the operating room, review the chart and pertinent study results.
    • Operative Experience/Technical Skill
      • The fellow will review the operative schedule daily.
      • The fellow may take either the teaching or second assistant role depending on the level of resident present
    • Post-Operative Care
      • The fellow will have patient care responsibilities.
      • The fellow maintains a working relationship with the core general surgery residents and surgical attendings.
      • Any changes or suggestions by the fellow in the care plan will be discussed with the attending surgeon prior to implementation.
  • Didactic Training
    • The fellow must practice advanced skills regularly both in the animate and inanimate laboratories.
    • Review of current literature/textbooks/videos is encouraged.
    • The fellow must review operative videos within one week of operation.
    • The fellow will participate/teach in bimonthly courses for residents and surgeons and attend scheduled MIS conferences, surgical morbidity and mortality conferences, General Surgery Educational Conference, and surgical grand rounds.
    • The fellow will participate/teach in weekly simulation courses for junior residents.
  • Research Training
    • The fellow will be involved in clinical and investigational research.
    • The fellow will receive mentoring on study design and analysis, manuscript preparation, and research presentation.
    • Attendance at the annual meeting of the Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is expected.
    • The fellow will be required to submit at least two manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Call Responsibilities
    • There will be some call in general surgery (3 to 5 calls a month) to allow for a different interaction with the residents, expand the teaching capabilities of the fellow, and learn about the business aspects of surgical practice.
  • Evaluation
    • The fellow will undergo a formal evaluation by the fellowship director on a quarterly basis.
    • Monthly meetings regarding operational issues with the fellowship will take place with the fellow and director.
    • The fellow will be provided an evaluation to evaluate the attending.
ACES currently offers one Fellowship position, which is matched through the Fellowship Council Match System.  Applications are submitted and reviewed on the Council's website at
The Application and Match process for 2015-2016 is now closed.
The Application and Match process for 2016-2017 will open on December 2, 2014 and will close on February 16, 2015. Fellow match date is June 16, 2015 and the fellowship begins on August 1, 2016.
Melissa Carton
Program Coordinator, Sr.
Section of Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery
Department of Surgery
University of Arizona College of Medicine
1501 N. Campbell Avenue, P.O. Box 245066
Tucson, AZ  85724-5066
Phone:  520-626-2635; Fax:  520-626-1411

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