Surgical Education Group

About surgical education research

The awareness about the importance of surgical education to the medical students and residents has been increasing among the faculty of surgery in Japan. Educational institutes have begun establishing teaching programs and exploring and adopting various teaching methods to educate and train medical students and residents. However, how do we evaluate the surgical competency of trainees? How do we determine the evaluation criteria when creating a residency program? What are the best teaching methods?

Thirty years ago, the research began in the field of Surgical Education in North America, to look into these questions, and has now become an important subject in the field of surgery.
Our department has become pioneer in surgical education field, which is still in its developing phase in Japan, by establishing a “Surgical Education Research Group”. Our group aims to develop and research on the surgical education system.
We have been doing various works on surgical education, such as the development of surgical education curriculum for both medical students and postgraduate surgical trainees, and the organization of several seminars. Our group has also played a leading role in the establishment of the Japanese Association for Surgical Education: JASE (, and hosted its annual conference. In addition, we started a global surgical education project in 2018 to collaborate and share our knowledge and skills with the outside of Japan. We have started this project with Chitwan Medical College in Nepal.

As the leader in Japanese surgical education, we are currently pursuing following research to develop novel surgical education tools and systems. Please feel free to contact us if you have interest in our activities and research projects.

Surgical Education Research Team Members

Leader Yo Kurashima, MD PhD
PhD Candidates Kenichi Mizunuma, MD, Shinichiro Yokoyama, MD
Visiting Researchers of Hokkaido University Yusuke Watanabe, MD PhD(Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)
Saseem Poudel, MD PhD (Steel Memorial Muroran Hospital)
Tomoko Mizota, MD PhD(Hakodate National Hospital)

Current Research Projects

1.Development and validation of multidisciplinary team educational program for surgical energy devices (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research 2017-2018: Young Researcher B)
2.National level survey of the state of surgical education in Japan
3.Systematic review study of intraoperative decision making
4.Development of evaluation and training system for laparoscopic gastrectomy
5.National level survey to assess the state of laparoscopic training and confidence of young surgeons in various laparoscopic procedures (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research 2018-2020)
6.Development and validation of simulator and curriculum for advanced laparoscopic suturing(Multi-institutional collaborative study with multiple institutes in North America)
7.Systematic review study of simulation-based education in pediatric surgery
8.Investigation for fundamental knowledge of endoscopic surgery in pediatric surgery.
9.Development of assessment and training system for pancreatic surgery
10.Global surgical education project in Nepal

Our published work (Since 2014)

1.Poudel S, et al. A snapshot of surgical resident training in Japan: results of a national-level needs assessment survey. Surgery Today. 2019 May 17
2.Poudel S, et al. Identifying the Essential Portions of the Skill Acquisition Process Using Item Response Theory. J Surg Educ 2019. 2019 Jul-Aug;76(4):1101-1106.
3.Kurashima Y, et al. Development of a novel tool to assess skills in laparoscopic gastrectomy using the Delphi method: the Japanese operative rating scale for laparoscopic distal gastrectomy (JORS-LDG). Surg Endosc. 2019 Epub Feb 11, 2019
4.Yokoyama S, et al. Identifying the needs for teaching fundamental knowledge of laparoscopic surgery: a cross-sectional study in Japan. Surg Endosc. 2018 Epub Oct 22, 2018
5.Mizota T, et al. Surgeons see anatomical structures faster and more accurately compared to novices: Development of a pattern recognition skill assessment platform.Am J Surg. Epub Oct 14, 2018.
6.Poudel S, et al. Development of a novel training system for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2018 Sep 11:1-7.
7.Mizota T, et al. Step-by-step training in basic laparoscopic skills using two-way web conferencing software for remote coaching: a multicenter randomized controlled study. Am J Surg. 2018 Jul;216(1):88-92.
8.McIlhenny C, Kurashima Y, et al. General surgery education across three continents. Am J Surg. 2018 Feb;215(2):209-213.
9.Poudel S, et al. Educational system based on the TAPP checklist improves the performance of novices: A multicenter randomized trial. Surg Endosc. 2018 May;32(5):2480-2487.
10.Poudel S, et al. Impact of 3D in the training of basic laparoscopic skills and its transferability to 2D environment: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Surg Endosc 2017;31:1111-1118
11.Watanabe Y, et al. Psychometric Properties of the Global Operative Assessment of Laparoscopic Skills (GOALS) using Item Response Theory. Am J Surg. 2017;213:273-276
12.Bilgic E*, Watanabe Y*, et al. Multicenter Proficiency Benchmarks for an Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Curriculum. Am J Surg 2017;213:217-221 *co-primary author
13.Kurashima Y, et al. Systematic Review of the Implementation of Simulation Training in Surgical Residency Curriculum. Surgery Today 2017;47:777-782
14.Kurashima Y, et al. Where do we start? The first survey of surgical residency education in Japan. Am J Surg 2016;211:405-410
15.Watanabe Y, et al. Don’t Fix It If It Isn’t Broken: A Survey of Preparedness for Practice among Graduated Fellows. Surg Endosc 2016;31:2287-2298
16.Poudel S., et al. Development and validation of a checklist for assessing recorded performance of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Am J Surg, 2016;212:468-474
17.Poudel S., et al. Evaluation of hands-on seminar for reduced port surgery using fresh porcine cadaver model. J Minim Access Surg. 2016;12:214-219
18.Watanabe Y, et al. New Models for Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing: Taking It to the Next Level. Surg Endosc 2016;30:581-587
19.Watanabe Y, et al. Surgeons Have Knowledge Gaps in the Safe Use of Energy Devices: a Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study. Surg Endosc 2016;30:588-592
20.Watanabe Y, et al. A Systematic Review of Performance Assessment Tools for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Surg Endosc 2016;30:832-844
21.Bilgic E*, Watanabe Y*, et al. Reliable assessment of Performance in Surgery: A practical approach to Generalizability Theory. J Surg Educ 2015; 72:774-775 *co-primary author
22.Watanabe Y, et al. Camera navigation and cannulation: validity evidence for new educational tasks to complement the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery Program. Surg Endosc 2015; 29:552-557
23.Kurashima Y, et al. Simulation-based training improves the operative performance of totally extraperitoneal (TEP) laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair: a prospective randomized controlled trial.Surg Endosc 28,783-787, 2014

Surgical Educational tools developed by our team

1.Global Operative Assessment for Laparoscopic Skills- Groin Hernia (GOALS-GH):
2.TAPP Checklist:Assessment tool of Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (TAPP approach). Can be used to assess the video recording of the procedure
⇒ TAPP Checklist(PDF)
3.TAPP Educational Video:Based on TAPP Checklist (In Japanese)(
4.Japan Operative Rating Scale- Laparoscopic Distal Gastrectomy (JORS-LDG):Assessment tool of laparoscopic distal gastrectomy. Useful for checking each step of the procedure.
⇒ JORS-LDG Assessment sheet(PDF)
5.SAGES FUSE Hands on seminar(
6.Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing Tasks

Research fellowship experience

  • 2016-2018:Tomoko Mizota (Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, IN, US)
  • 2012-2015:Yusuke Watanabe(Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University, Canada)
  • 2009-2012:Yo Kurashima(Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University, Canada)