The Surgical Innovation Fellowship (SIF) is a two-year program at Boston Children’s Hospital that exposes surgical residents to all aspects of healthcare innovation. The Department of Surgery in collaboration with the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator and the Simulator Program (SIMPeds) have developed an innovation journey that is supported by a network of advisors that provide fellows with the knowledge and mentorship they need to take an idea from the drawing board to the bedside. During the two year program, the fellow will experience the entire device and software innovation pathway including hands on experience in market analysis, design, prototype engineering, product management, customer discovery, sales, patent and regulatory filing, etc. In addition to the surgical innovation projects, the fellow will gain experience in clinical and scientific research and will remain clinically active within the Department of Surgery, taking in house call and participating in didactic activities related to Pediatric Surgery and Transplantation.
To create future surgical innovators within an interdisciplinary environment that combines clinical experiences with a unique hospital based innovation platform.
To be the premier destination for surgeons who wish to become “bridgetenders” between healthcare challenges and the delivery of innovative solutions back to the bedside.
The curriculum is designed with 3 major pillars
- Core Curriculum in Innovation
- Academic: Clinical research and publications
The Surgical Innovation Fellow will begin the first year by joining multiple projects already in process and becoming oriented to the language and methodologies utilized through teamwork. They will slowly transition into identifying their own projects and ideas, learning the process of needs analysis, feasibility, risks, and ultimately transitioning to a clear, actionable project of their own. By the end of their first-year, they will have moved towards execution on their primary project. At the end of their fellowship, fellows should have a product ready for commercialization or licensing
The curriculum is dynamic with general themes at specific time points matching the evolution of identifying a need, devising a plan, developing solution and bringing the solution to market. Core concepts identified can be reordered depending on need an interest. Ultimately, the fellow will have general exposure to all topics with deep dives in specific areas of interest to the deemed innovation study. There are a specific set of topics that are tied to ongoing projects and or advisors.
The Surgical Innovation Fellow will be expected to continue with clinical care, clinical research, publication of case reports, review articles, primary research, etc, as well as publications associated with the innovation process. Goals will be set for both academic output as well as areas of interest.
- Clinical: This two-year fellowship provides fellows the opportunity to work on clinical pediatric surgery research studies in addition innovation projects. The large volume of patients and the complex surgical conditions often treated at Boston Children’s Hospital, represent a great opportunity for fellows to engage in multiple clinical publications during their fellowship. Fellows are expected to submit their work to national and regional scientific meetings.
- Surgical Innovation fellows are part of the clinical staff of the Department of Surgery. They are expected to participate in all departmental academic activities (i.e. grand rounds, lectures, morbidity & mortality conferences, etc…), take call as part of the surgery resident call schedule, and be active on the transplant procurement roster throughout the fellowship.
- Business: The collaboration with the IDHA and SimPeds present a unique opportunity to learn about the business and industry aspect of innovation that physicians are seldom exposed to. The fellows are invited to attend the weekly accelerator team meeting from IDHA, in which the progress of projects going through this accelerator are discussed. This allows the fellow to learn about the phases of innovation and the pain points along the way from other innovators. Fellows are also invited to attend the design rounds at SimPeds, this are interactive sessions aim at prototype design improvement and optimization.
- Basic Science: Part of the innovation pathway may include testing device prototypes on animal models. Although many innovators outsource this to CROs, this programs allows for this intricate part of innovation research to be performed in-house, thus granting the fellow the opportunity of basic science publications as well. The SIF works in parallel with the basic sciences research fellowship program from the Department of Surgery. Fellows will attend and present in the weekly lab meeting, in which one research fellow presents his or her work to his peers and mentors
Salim Afshar, DMD, MD
Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery
Heung Bae Kim, MD
Director of Pediatric Transplant Center
Department of Surgery
Senior Director of Innovation
Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator
Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD
Senior Engineering Manager
Gabriel Ramos-Gonzalez, MD
Surgical Innovation Fellow
Department of Surgery