Surgical skills training and certification testing for medical professionals at all levels

The Washington University General Surgery Residency was one of the first surgical training programs in the country to introduce a surgical skills lab. The lab was founded in 2001 to provide residents with additional surgical simulation training outside of the operating room.

The Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE) is a 4,000-square foot educational space centrally located in the Clinical Sciences Research Building at the School of Medicine. WISE offers a variety of surgical skills labs and simulators. These include simple foam rubber simulators for suture practice, as well as high-tech robotic surgery and virtual reality simulators.

The lab starts the academic year with a mini “boot camp” for interns, cultivating basic skills like suturing. From there, WISE’s offerings extend to residents in all years of the training program. 

Junior residents continue to focus on skills acquisition, such as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy lab. Senior residents transition their focus to higher level operative decisions and teamwork, such as a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication lab. 

Sessions are taught by the Program Director, General Surgery faculty, other faculty members representing a broad spectrum of specialties, and senior residents. 

In 2013, WISE was certified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Accredited Education Institute for surgical education.

For a complete list of certifications, labs and simulators, browse the offerings at WISE.

We support a diverse, inclusive and equitable training environment

Learn more about Institutional efforts here or about White Coats for Black Lives here


I’m a general surgery resident from another organization. I took my FLS and FES exam at WASHU in the last 2 months. I wanted to send an email to express the excellent experience I had at your testing center. Karen and Angelia have been professional, respectful, kind, and supportive. They were very flexible and accommodating with their schedule to let me practice. They offered all their resources to be able to successfully pass the tests. This is very important for a general surgery resident because our schedules are always tight. They always tried to be available and help as much as they could. They were easy to contact and would respond immediately either by phone or email. They would always try to accommodate the schedule to let me practice.

I really appreciated the ability to take the exam at WASHU. And Karen and Angelia made the experience outstanding.

Thank you very much
Best regards
Resident, General Surgery