3D Printing (3DP) is an additive manufacturing process increasingly being applied at the point of care (POC) in hospital systems. Radiologists have traditionally played a crucial part in the application of this technology with surgeons considered an ideal clinical partner. The VA Health Care System (VHA) has a growing role with clinically based application of 3DP with the creation of the Office of Advance Manufacturing (OAM). Part of OAM’s charge has been to provide education to advance trainees in surgery, a VHA Surgical 3DP Fellowship (VS-3DP) was created in 2021. VS-3DP is a 12-month exposure to 3DP as it pertains to 3DP engineering principles, imaging processing/segmentation, application of 3DP in surgical planning, educational curriculum design, application of 3DP in Assistive Technology, use of 3DP for iterative rapid prototyping and the principles of hospital-based manufacturing. Instructional strategies include direct project management of 3DP surgical applications (educational simulation and surgical planning), leadership involvement in VA national 3DP program office, dedicated materials (readings, lectures, etc.) as well as apprenticeships (centered in radiology, engineering and clinical practice). Since its creation there have been three advance training surgical residents who have participated in the program. One learner elected for a second 12 months of advance training including a 4-week intense learning experience onsite at OAM headquarters including dedicated engineering, clinical and leadership objectives. Program based assessment has been collected and reported to OAM leadership with approved continuation and planned expansion of the program to other VA medical centers in academic year 2024.
- Upon completion, participants will be able to describe the educational curriculum design in a surgical 3D printing fellowship
- Upon completion, participants will be able to appreciate the inter-disciplinary dynamics of key stakeholders in educating surgical residents
- Upon completion, participants will be able to appreciate the VA Health Care Systems growing role in clinically based application of 3D printing and training of future physicians