WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship

WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship

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

Since 2017, the WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship has supported travel of a female general thoracic surgeon and her surgical assistant for a mentoring/case observation visit with Dr. Lana Schumacher, a busy robotic general thoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, for up to three days. The fellowship also supported a proctoring visit by Dr. Schumacher at the recipient’s institution. In addition, the fellowship supported Dr. Schumacher in leading two separate didactic courses and lab sessions taking place at the ISI training center in Atlanta, GA.

*New for 2021
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed limitations on the fellowship’s traditional framework, including the mentoring/case observation visit and well as the proctoring visit. In light of the circumstances, WTS and Intuitive have found an exciting alternative platform that will provide advance robotic training for a female thoracic surgeon and assist her in successfully launching her robotic surgical practice.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has developed a comprehensive online curriculum robotic thoracic surgery for surgeons of all levels of experience that will launch in February 2021. The 2021 WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship will provide recipients with complimentary registration fees for the STS Robotic Thoracic Surgery online curriculum.

The STS curriculum is a series of on-demand and live virtual sessions that will offer cutting-edge information on robotic thoracic surgery, including lung, foregut, mediastinal surgery, and more. The online curriculum will be led by world-renowned surgeon instructors with successful track records in robotic surgery. The online curriculum will rollout one session at a time over a 7-month period.

Details about the STS Robotic Thoracic Surgery online curriculum can be found on the STS website by clicking here.

It’s possible that one didactic session and lab will occur as part of the 2021 WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship, but this is dependent upon the status of COVID-19.


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 also access to the Da Vinci® robotic system at their institution. A letter from the applicant’s chair or service chief is required to document adequate robotic access ( at least a weekly basis).


The application process for the 2021 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.
  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 Katie Nason, MD, WTS Scholarship Co-Chair, at Katie.NasonMD@baystatehealth.org.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the WTS Leadership and graded on strength of candidate, institutional support, and potential for career impact. Notifications will be sent to applicants in February 2021.