Endoscopic surgery has brought opportunities and potentially sweeping changes to surgical practice. To help surgeons make the transition, when appropriate, from traditional to the new, less-invasive surgery, Stanford in 1994 created the Stanford Endoscopy Center for Training and Technology (SECTT). This month Fact File talked with the center's director, gynecologist and surgeon Camran Nezhat; acting surgery chair Christopher Zarins; associate chief of staff and thoracic surgeon Walter Cannon; and Ryan Rhodes, clinical education specialist. The center is supported through through educational grants.
1. The Stanford Endoscopy Center for Training and Technology has been directed by Camran Nezhat since 1995. The facility is located in the Medical School Office Building, but classes and training are conducted in SHS operating rooms, in the Research Animal Facility, and at satellite locations. Space is being remodeled in the lower level of the medical school's Grant Building. By the end of 1997, the facility will include a conference room and a resource center, which will allow physicians to log on to the Internet to seek information and to use a simulator to improve dexterity and hone minimally invasive surgery techniques.
2. The Center, under an educational grant from Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. of Cincinnati, currently sponsors five CME-approved courses annually in laparoscopic gynecology annually. Additional course offerings are expected soon in other areas, including endoscopic vein harvest, gastroesophagel reflux surgery and general surgery. In addition to postgraduate courses for physicians from around the world, the center sponsors a variety of programs for house staff in participating departments.
3. In addition to Nezhat and Rhodes, the center's staff consists of Bev Bonfert, program administrator, and Lee Sprung, a veterinary technician.
4. The phone number for the center is (415) 725-2551.
5. Nezhat, completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1978, and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Medical College of Georgia in 1980. He pioneered video-assisted surgery in the late 1970s. Along with his brothers, Farr and Ceana, he practices and teaches at the Stanford Endoscopy Center and at SHS. He is a clinical professor of surgery, gynecology and obstetrics at Stanford, and his clinical research has been published widely, particularly his innovative techniques in the treatment of endometriosis and myoma of the uterus.

Zarins, a vascular surgeon, completed his residency in 1974 at the University of Michigan. He came to Stanford in 1993 as professor and chief of the division of vascular surgery. Since 1995, he has served as acting chair of the Department of Surgery. His extensive published research has addressed a variety of topics, including the use of stent grafts for cardiovascular disease and additional studies in the use of blood flow dynamics.

Cannon, who completed his general and thoracic surgery residencies at Stanford and at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, serves as acting chief of the division of thoracic surgery and as SHS associate chief of staff for credentialing. He maintains an active general and thoracic surgical practice through the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and serves as a clinical professor of surgery.

Rhodes, who received a BA in public administration from San Diego State University, has worked in sales and marketing in several industries, including manufacturers of medical equipment. Rhodes conducts educational programs for several university medical centers in addition to Stanford.
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