Training, Credentialing, Proctoring and Medicolegal Risks of Robotic Urological Surgery: Recommendations of the Society of Urologic Robotic Surgeons

Kevin C. Zorn, Gagan Gautam, Arieh L. Shalhav, Ralph V. Clayman, Thomas E. Ahlering, David M. Albala, David I. Lee, Chandru P. Sundaram, Surena F. Matin, Erik P. Castle, Howard N. Winfield, Matthew T. Gettman, Benjamin R. Lee, Raju Thomas, Vipul R. Patel, Raymond J. Leveillee, Carson Wong, Gopal H. Badlani, Koon H. Rha, Scott E. EggenerPeter Wiklund, Alex Mottrie, Fatih Atug, Ali R. Kural, Jean V. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Purpose: With the exponential growth of robotic urological surgery, particularly with robot assisted radical prostatectomy, guidelines for safe initiation of this technology are a necessity. Currently no standardized credentialing system exists to our knowledge to evaluate surgeon competency and safety with robotic urological surgery performance. Although proctoring is a modality by which such competency can be evaluated, other training tools and guidelines are needed to ensure that the requisite knowledge and technical skills to perform this procedure have been acquired. We evaluated the current status of proctoring and credentialing in other surgical specialties to discuss and recommend its application and implementation specifically for robot assisted radical prostatectomy. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the literature on safety and medicolegal implications of proctoring and the safe introduction of surgical procedures to develop recommendations for robot assisted radical prostatectomy proctoring and credentialing. Results: Proctoring is an essential mechanism for robot assisted radical prostatectomy institutional credentialing and should be a prerequisite for granting unrestricted privileges on the robot. This should be differentiated from preceptoring, wherein the expert is directly involved in hands-on training. Advanced technology has opened new avenues for long-distance observation through teleproctoring. Although the medicolegal implications of an active surgical intervention by a proctor are not clearly defined, the role as an observer should grant immunity from malpractice liability. Conclusions: The implementation of guidelines and proctoring recommendations is necessary to protect surgeons, proctors, institutions and, above all, the patients who are associated with the institutional introduction of a robot assisted radical prostatectomy program. With no current guidelines we anticipate this article will serve as a catalyst of interorganizational discussion to initiate regulatory oversight of surgeon certification and proctorship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1126-1132
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • education
  • laparoscopy
  • legal
  • liability
  • robotics
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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