WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship

WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship

The application process for the 2018 WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship is closed.  Details for a potential 2019 WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship will be posted as they become available.

The Women in Thoracic Surgery (WTS) and Intuitive Surgical Inc. have partnered to create a unique opportunity in advanced robotic training for a female thoracic surgeon by a female thoracic surgeon. The overreaching goals are to establish a mentoring relationship for a new female robotic surgeon and assist her in successfully launching her robotic surgical practice. WTS encourages both recent graduates and established surgeons to consider this exceptional opportunity to enrich their surgical skill set.

Award Overview

The WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship will provide up to $10,000 to support travel of a female general thoracic surgeon and her surgical assistant for a mentoring visit with Dr. Lana Schumacher, a busy robotic general thoracic surgeon at Allegheny General Hospital for up to three days. The fellowship will then, in turn, support Dr. Schumacher to return to the awardee’s institution to serve as proctor for her initial robotic case(s). This model is designed to maximize the educational relationship between trainer and trainee.

Half of the allotted funds (up to $5,000) are reserved for each of the training segments. The awardee funds will cover expenses related to travel, including  room and board, for her and her surgical assistant. Dr. Schumacher’s expenses will be reimbursed following the proctoring visit. WTS requires that both phases of training be completed by July 1, 2018.


Women thoracic surgeons board eligible or certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) or equivalent Canadian, European, or Asian certifying body, with >50% practice in general thoracic surgery, and the desire to establish a robotic thoracic surgery practice. Applicants must have access to the Da Vinci® robotic system at her institution. A letter from the applicant’s chair or service chief is required to document adequate robotic access ( at least a weekly basis), permission for travel, verification that an outside surgeon has access to proctor at their institution, and support for the two-day practical on-site training with Da Vinci®. Award funds may not be used to support the practical on-site training.

Mandatory Training Components

The following training is not required for the application process, but completion is obligatory prior to the mentoring visit in order to maximize the educational potential.

  • Da Vinci® Technology Online Modules
  • Da Vinci® Technology Overview In-Service with clinical sales representative
  • Da Vinci® Technology Skills Drills with Kit/Simulator modules
  • Da Vinci® Practical Training: Two-day on-site thoracic surgery training at any licensed ISI training center (Atlanta, GA; Sunnyvale, CA; Celebration, FL; Houston, TX) (award funds may not be used for on-site training).
  • Review of at least two full length procedure videos


The application process for the 2018 WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship is closed.

The following materials are required:

  1. Completed application
  2. Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  3. Letter of support from chair or service chief which documents access the recipient will have to Da Vinci® robotic system on at least a weekly basis, permission for travel, verification of institutional access for OR proctoring by visiting surgeon, and support for on-site Da Vinci® Practical Training.
  4. 100 word narrative explaining how this experience will impact the applicant and her thoracic surgery practice

Materials should be submitted as a single PDF file to: jyanagawa@mednet.ucla.edu

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the WTS Leadership and graded on strength of candidate, institutional support, and potential for career impact. The awardee will be announced at WTS Networking Reception on Monday, January 29, 2018 during the Society of Thoracic Surgeons 54th Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.