Surgical Education Research 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 “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 Group Members

Director Yo Kurashima, MD PhD
Visiting Researchers of Hokkaido University Saseem Poudel, MD PhD
Tomoko Mizota, MD PhD
PhD Graduate Students Kenichi Mizunuma, MD
Kotoe Kiriyama, MD
Keita Ishido, MD
Hiroyasu Toujima, MD
PhD Graduates from our group Yusuke Watanabe MD, PhD
Saseem Poudel, MD PhD
Tomoko Mizota, MD PhD
Shinichiro Yokoyama, MD PhD

Current Research Projects

1.Remote simulation training for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists 2021-2023)
2.Intraoperative decision-making information analysis for surgical training and navigation (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research 2021-2023)
3.Development of high-difficulty anastomosis training and evaluation tool using 3D simulation system (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research 2021-2023)
4.Systematic review study of global surgery
5.Development of evaluation and training system for laparoscopic gastrectomy
6.Global surgical education project in Nepal
7.Analysis of simulation training in abdominal trauma treatment
8.Qualitative analysis of surgeons’ preoperative preparation during emergency surgery
9.Systematic review of difference between experts and novice in preoperative preparation

Our published work (Since 2014)

Journal Papers
Published in 2022
1.Kurashima Y, et al. Validation study of a skill assessment tool for education and outcome prediction of laparoscopic distal gastrectomy. Surg Endos. 2022. 2022 May 16
2.Poudel S, Kurashima Y, Hirano S. Establishing the Japanese Association for Surgical Education: Our experience of promoting systematic surgical education in Japan. Global Surg Educ. 1, 16 (2022). 2022 April 12
3.K Teramura, S Imai, Y Watanabe et al. Development of a performance rubric for transanal endoscopic rectal purse-string sutures. Tech Coloproctol. 2022 Feb;26(2):109-115.
Published in 2021
1.Kondo A, Watanabe Y*, et al. Particle size distributions in surgical smoke generated by advanced energy devices: a meaningful perspective from an experimental study in the time of COVID-19. Annals of Surgery. In Press. *Contributed equally.
2.Kurashima Y et al. Can general surgeons perform laparoscopic surgery independently within 10 years of training? A nationwide survey on laparoscopic surgery training in Japan. Surg Today. 2021
Published in 2020
3.Hashimoto D, Poudel S, Hirano S, Kurashima Y et al. Is there disparity between regions and facilities in surgical resident training in Japan? Insights from a national survey. Surg Today. 2020 Dec;50:1585-1593.
4.Watanabe Y et al. An Unmodulated Very-Low-Voltage Electrosurgical Technology Creates Predictable and Ultimate Tissue Coagulation: From Experimental Data to Clinical Use. Surg Innov 2020 Oct;27(5):492-498.
5.Poudel S et al. Are graduating residents sufficiently competent? Results of a national gap analysis survey of program directors and graduating residents in Japan. Surgery Today. March 3, 2020.
Published in 2019
6.Madani, A., Grover, K., & Watanabe, Y. Measuring and Teaching Intraoperative Decision-Making Using the Visual Concordance Test. JAMA Surg. 2020;155(1):78-79.
7.Yokoyama S et al. Evaluation methods and impact of simulation-based training in pediatric surgery: a systematic review. Pediatr Surg Int. 2019 Oct;35(10):1085-1094.
8.Mathis R, Watanabe Y et al. What are the skills that represent expert-level laparoscopic suturing? A Delphi Study. Surg Endosc. 2020 Mar;34(3):1318-1323.
9.Mizota T, et al. Development of a fundamentals of endoscopic surgery proficiency-based skills curriculum for general surgery residents. Surg Endosc. 2020 Feb;34(2):771-778.
10.Poudel S, et al. A snapshot of surgical resident training in Japan: results of a national-level needs assessment survey. Surg Today. 2019 Oct;49(10):870-876.
11.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.
12.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 Dec;33(12):3945-3952.
Published in 2018
13.Yokoyama S, et al. Identifying the needs for teaching fundamental knowledge of laparoscopic surgery: a cross-sectional study in Japan. Surg Endosc. 2019 Jul;33(7):2242-2248.
14.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. 2019 Feb;217(2):222-227.
15.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.
16.Bilgic E, Endo S, Lebedeva E, Takao M, McKendy KM, Watanabe Y, Feldman LS, Vassiliou MC. A scoping review of assessment tools for laparoscopic suturing. Surg Endosc. 2018 Jul;32:3009-3023.
17.Bilgic E, Takao M, Kaneva P, Endo S, Takao T, Watanabe Y, McKendy KM, Feldman LS, Vassiliou MC. Development of a Model for the Acquisition and Assessment of Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing Skills Using an Automated Device. Surg Innov. 2018 Jun;25(3):286-290.
Published in 2017
18.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.
19.McIlhenny C, Kurashima Y, et al. General surgery education across three continents. Am J Surg. 2018 Feb;215(2):209-213.
20.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.
Published in 2016
21.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
22.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
23.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
24.Kurashima Y, et al. Systematic Review of the Implementation of Simulation Training in Surgical Residency Curriculum. Surgery Today 2017;47:777-782
25.Watanabe Y, et al. Don’t Fix It If It Isn’t Broken: A Survey of Preparedness for Practice among Graduated Fellows. Surg Endosc 2017;31:2287-2298
26.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
Published in 2015
27.Kurashima Y, et al. Where do we start? The first survey of surgical residency education in Japan. Am J Surg 2016;211:405-410
28.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
29.Watanabe Y, et al. New Models for Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing: Taking It to the Next Level. Surg Endosc 2016;30:581-587
30.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
31.Watanabe Y, et al. A Systematic Review of Performance Assessment Tools for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Surg Endosc 2016;30:832-844
32.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
Published in 2014
33.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
Book Chapters
1.Yusuke Watanabe, et al. (2019). Objective metrics in the simulation of minimally invasive surgery In Daniel B. Jones, M.D., Steven Schwaitzberg, M.D. (Eds.), Operative Endoscopic and MIS. CRC Press; 2019 Chapter 30, 184-187.
2.Mizota T, et al. Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery. In: Palazzo F, editor. Fundamentals of General Surgery. Springer; 2018 Chapter 16, 215-225

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)