SAGES Mini Med School: inspiring high school students through exposure to the field of surgery



The SAGES Mini Med School (SMMS) was designed to expose high school students to the field of surgery through mentoring, knowledge transfer, and hands-on experience with simulation. The objective of this paper is to profile the evolutionary development, performance metrics, and satisfaction queries of this innovative effort.


Sixty-one high school students, grades 9–12, took part in the (SMMS) program during the 2015 SAGES Annual Congress. The students completed a surgical skills lab session where they attempted tasks associated with the development of open surgical and laparoscopic skills. The lab included a warm-up with the validated Super Monkey Ball video game, Top Gun Pea Drop task, FLS Peg Transfer task, open knot tying station, and open instrument tie station.


The following are the results of the surgical skills lab. For the Super Monkey Ball task, 60 students participated with an average score of 73.0 s (SD = 53.9; range 59.1–87.0; median = 74). Sixty students participated in the Surgeons Knot and Pea Drop tasks with average times of 26.6 s (SD = 19.3; range 21.7–31.6; median = 21.0) and 113.8 s (SD = 65.9; range 96.6–131.0; median = 101.0), respectively. Sixty students participated in the Instrument Tie and 56 students participated in the Peg Transfer stations with average times of 51.7 s (SD = 34.5; range 42.8–60.6; median = 39.5) and 173.1 s (SD = 25.0; range 166.4–179.8; median = 180.0), respectively. 51 (83.6%) agreed that the Mini Med School made them more likely to consider a career in medicine. When asked if the program made them more likely to consider a career in surgery 42 (68.8%) agreed. All 61 respondents (100%) said that they would recommend the program to others.


The SMMS program showed that the students had an excellent aptitude for the performance of validated surgical subtasks with high satisfaction, and increased consideration of a career in medicine/surgery. Long-term studies are needed to evaluate the impact on workforce recruitment.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Timothy B. Legare.

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Dr. Rosser has equity interest and is CEO of the Stealth Learning Company and intellectual properties were loaned to the project. The authors Legare, Dr. Jacobs, Choi, Fleming, and Nakagiri have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Rosser, J.C., Legare, T.B., Jacobs, C. et al. SAGES Mini Med School: inspiring high school students through exposure to the field of surgery. Surg Endosc 32, 4235–4243 (2018).

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  • Pipeline
  • Surgical education
  • Premedical
  • Career choice
  • Surgical skills
  • High school