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

The WTS-Intuitive Robotic Fellowship will support 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 will also support a proctoring visit by Dr. Schumacher at the recipient’s institution. In addition, the fellowship will support Dr. Schumacher in leading two separate didactic courses and lab sessions taking place at the ISI training center in Atlanta, GA* and in Sunnyvale, CA*. The first course/lab will take place April 12-13, 2020 in Sunnyvale and the second course/lab will take place October 11-12, 2020 in Atlanta. The fellowship recipient is required to attend both didactic courses/labs. This model is designed to maximize the educational relationship between trainer and trainee. (*Please note locations for both courses/labs are subject to change.)

Intuitive will cover the recipient’s travel-related expenses, including air and ground travel, along with room and board, for her and her surgical assistant for the mentoring/case observation visit in Boston as well as the didactic courses/labs in Atlanta, GA and Sunnyvale, CA. WTS requires that both the mentoring/case observation visit at Massachusetts General Hospital and the proctoring visit at the recipient’s institution be completed by July 1, 2020.


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), permission for travel, and support for the two-day practical on-site training with Da Vinci®.

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)
  • Review of at least two full length procedure videos


The application process for the 2020 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, 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 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. The awardee will be announced at the WTS Membership Meeting and Reception on Monday, January 27, 2020 during the Society of Thoracic Surgeons 56th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.