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Surgical Skills Labs the Only Designated Testing Centers in Region
February 02, 2023

St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Joel C. Rosenfeld, MD, Surgical Skills Lab at St. Luke’s Bethlehem Campus and the Surgical Skills Lab at Easton Campus have been designated the region’s only testing centers for laparoscopic and endoscopic surgical skills as well as the safe use of surgical energy. 

The accreditations were given by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), which sponsors educational courses in the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS), Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) and Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE).

These programs provide physician residents, fellows and practicing physicians an opportunity to learn, practice and improve the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy and the safe use of surgical energy-based devices. Surgical energy-based devices are used by physicians to cut tissue, stop bleeding and seal blood vessels.

The only locations in the Lehigh Valley, testing at the St. Luke’s Surgical Skills labs is available five days per week. The next closest testing facilities are in hospitals in Philadelphia, Hershey, Delaware and New York. More than 200 doctors/surgeons come to St. Luke’s annually from hospitals throughout the Northeast to complete their exams.   

“These designated Surgical Skills Labs at St. Luke’s fill an essential role in the teaching, training and testing of the future surgeons in the Northeast United States who will treat patients in the Lehigh Valley and far beyond using the most advanced surgical technology and operative skills,” said Marian McDonald, MD, Medical Director of Surgical Simulation at St. Luke’s University Health Network.

“Practice and simulation improve patient safety and surgical outcomes by allowing the physicians to learn and improve their skills on a simulated model prior to applying them in the supervised operating room setting.” 

The Joel C. Rosenfeld, MD Surgical Skills Lab is named to honor St. Luke’s retired, long-time chief academic officer, who made a generous donation to the Network to fund the facility in 2021. Rosenfeld oversaw The Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill.

The Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine is the Lehigh Valley’s first and only four-year medical school, where the region’s brightest young minds go to become doctors. By cultivating home-grown medical talent, St. Luke’s is helping the region to secure its health and well-being amid a worsening doctor shortage nationally.