The surgical skills lab at Washington University was founded in 2001 to address ethical concerns, cost and patient safety issues, constraints on resident time, and new mandates restricting traditional surgical training in the operating room. In 2005, the lab became an official test center for Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS). Over time, the skills lab garnered support in the form of spatial and technological resources, increased and varied funding sources, and is now known as the Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE).
WISE was formally introduced in 2010, and expanded on the original skills lab philosophy by providing a multidisciplinary approach to advancing patient care and safety, education and research in the field of surgery and its subspecialties. The center’s primary learners are Washington University School of Medicine general surgery residents. In addition to general surgery residents, the WISE Center also provides training to practicing surgeons, physicians from other disciplines, residents from other disciplines, medical students, allied health professionals and nurses.
In 2013, WISE was accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level 1 Accredited Education Institute (AEI). In addition, WISE became an official test center for Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES), Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) and Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE) in February 2015.