Programme News

Friday 20th January 2012
Imperial College Education Update
The Lapco Education team at Imperial College London is headed by Professor George Hanna. Although Professor Hanna is an upper gastro-intestinal surgeon and hence his involvement in the programme may seem curious, he has had a strong interest in educational research and has previously been extensively involved in work with Professor Sir Alfred Cuschieri at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
The research team is managed by Dr Melody Ni, a post-doctorate decision analyst. Melody’s key role is ensuring the administrative fluency for the sign-off procedure from the programme, and to manage the research team. She is also a gifted statistician and checks that the analytical methods used throughout the research are appropriate. She has recently written a statistical programme from first principles that will have an important role in the proficiency gain curve analysis.
Danilo Miskovic is a consultant gastro-intestinal surgeon. Having completed his training in Switzerland, Danilo worked as a laparoscopic fellow at Frimley Park for a year before joining Imperial College. His PhD research has focussed on assessment. Through the Lapco steering group the GAS form was created, with input from the programme educationalist, Dr Fiona Carter. This has now been validated and forms a crucial part of the programme. Danilo also developed and validated the L-CAT form, a structured assessment form for videoed operation assessment. This form is used by the assessors in the sign-off procedure and allows for a blinded critique both of trainees’ generic and specific laparoscopic skills. This is again vital for the running of the programme.
Susannah Wyles is a surgical trainee, and on completion of her PhD will return to higher surgical training in London. The focus of her research for the programme is training. She has analysed the different training courses within the programme, and is now looking more specifically at the trainers themselves. An overall opinion of trainees enrolled thus far within the programme has been determined. The mini-STTAR (Structured Training Trainer Assessment Report) has been developed to allow the programme trainees to provide Lapco with regular feedback regarding the quality of each training session. The main aim of this work is to ensure a standard of training is maintained throughout the different Lapco training centres across England. The team have recently won awards for the GAS form research - both the prestigious John Arderne medal from the Colorectal section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and the David Dunn medal from the Association of Laparoscopic Surgery (ALS) – and for the training research – best poster Association of Laparoscopic Surgery (ALS).
For further information on publications and papers produced by the Imperial Team and full contact details please go to ‘NTP Publications’ on the Lapco web site home page.