T.E.C.I. Center News

July 2023

Society of University Surgeons (SUS) 2023 Trailblazer award winner: Dr. Carla Pugh



July 2023

June 2023

Stanford Surgery Spotlight: Dr. Carla Pugh

Talking with Dr. Carla Pugh, Professor of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (T.E.C.I.) Center, is inspiring. She is the first surgeon in the United States to obtain a PhD in Education, and her work focuses on using technology to change how medical and surgical education is conducted. Her research involves the use of simulation and advanced engineering technologies to develop new approaches for assessing and defining competency in clinical procedural skills.


June 2023

A Feel for Change

Carla Pugh -  Surgery International

Professor Carla Pugh is Professor of Surgery and Director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Centre in Stanford, USA. Best known perhaps for the development of sensor enabled simulators which allow medical students to practice breast and pelvic examinations her research interests are more eclectic and centre on the use of sensors, motion tracking and simulation technology to quantitatively define hands-on clinical skills. Awarded the National Institutes of Health Presidential Early Career Award in 2011 she continues to mix research, clinical practice and mentorship throughout her working week. 


May 2023

The Future of Surgical Innovation and Simulation -  General Surgery News

Carla Pugh, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, and Vice-chair of Innovation, Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses her team’s work on how skills translate from the world of the simulation lab to operating room. 


March 2023

Listen to the talk on Wearable Technology and AI

The latest episode of the ACS House of Surgery podcast features Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS, professor of surgery and director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center at Stanford University, CA. Dr. Pugh delivered the I. S. Ravdin Lecture during Clinical Congress 2022 on wearable technology and artificial intelligence—how the medical field has just begun to scratch the surface of their potential and how they can be used to improve patient outcomes.


March 2023

Scrubcast Podcast: AI-Based Video Segmentation with TECI Center

How can we make video-based review of surgical procedures more efficient?

Members of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center join the show to talk about their recent article published in the Journal of Surgical Research: “AI-Based Video Segmentation: Procedural Steps or Basic Maneuvers?”

To collect the data for this paper, the TECI team set up a booth at the 2019 American College of Surgeon Clinical Congress and asked surgeons of all expert levels to suture bowel while wearing a number of digital sensors. Despite some (hilarious) hiccoughs, they lived to tell their tale AND process mountains of data into an algorithm.

In this episode:
• Audrey Bowler, Executive Administrative Coordinator
• Sindhu Hosakote, Research Operations and Program Manager
• Calvin Perumalla, PhD Senior Research Engineer
• Brett Wise, Researcher and Fabrication Expert
• Su Yang, Research Data Analyst


January 2023

TECI Center has been selected as one of the performers for the Wellcome LEAP SAVE Program

Learn more about the SAVE Program: https://wellcomeleap.org/save/

Learn more about our research proposal: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1EjBaGe_vuRMBJt1JTR1SxavRkhU8ZufIcnFQnEbg1EU/edit?usp=sharing

SAVE PI meeting_London slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cnuENf-yYB-3Tp_1qYtyr0ubtl-XOjxti4F1-eUPuZE/edit?usp=sharing


October 2022

Dr. Carla Pugh elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Carla Pugh, MD, PhD, professor of surgery and director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center, was elected for “pioneering sensor technology research that helped to define, characterize and inspire new and innovative performance metrics and data analysis strategies for the emerging field of digital health care.”


May 2022

Dr. Carla Pugh Delivers Keynote Address at WashU MD Commencement

Watch the address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1YfzVz4tbw 

May 2022

Dr. Carla Pugh Investiture - Thomas Krummel Professor of Surgery

In celebration of Dr. Carla Pugh, the Thomas Krummel Professor of Surgery, and all of her accomplishments.

May 2022

Dr. Carla Pugh Speaks at American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting 

Dr. Pugh was invited to give the Bacon Oration at the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting. This is an annual, featured, unopposed talk at our annual meeting named in honor of the contributions of Harry E. Bacon, MD to the field of surgery. Past Bacon orators have included Tom Russell, Glen Steele, David Hoyt, Hiram Polk, Caprice Greenberg, and a number of renowned surgeons from across the globe.

April 2022

Dr. Carla Pugh Becomes Member of the Defense Health Board

Where she will work on reports that inform the military health system. 

April 2022

Dr. Carla Pugh Featured on “The Future of Everything” Podcast 

On the podcast, Dr. Pugh discusses what we can learn by using sensors and video to examine and quantify every moment of a surgery - https://the-future-of-everything-stanford-engineering.simplecast.com/episodes/carla-pugh 

December 2021

Dr. Carla Pugh named Vice Chair of Innovation in the Department of Surgery

"Dr. Pugh's expertise in technological advancement in surgical education has been imperative to the council’s endeavors," said Dr. Mary Hawn in her announcement to the department. "She will continue Geoff Gurtner’s efforts as the liaison between the Department of Surgery and the myriad innovation and technology development programs that exist at Stanford, both in the school of medicine and the university at large." 


October 2021

Dr. Carla Pugh Elected to National Academy of Medicine

One of the highest honors in medicine and science - https://nam.edu/national-academy-of-medicine-elects-100-new-members-2021/  

September 2021

Dr. Carla Pugh Officially Becomes President of SBAS

The Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) is on a mission to improve health, advance science, and foster careers of African American and other underrepresented minority surgeons

September 2021

Awarded Spectrum Community Engagement Pilot Grant

This collaborative project is focused on expanding our work to improve breast cancer preventative practices in collaboration with Bay Area Cancer Connections and Stanford Cancer Institute.

August 2021

Dr. LaDonna Kearse Awarded Gold Medal for Presentation at Southeastern Surgical Congress 

Dr. Kearse’s talk focuses on the findings of an analysis focused on general surgery residency programs with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

June 2021

Dr. Pugh featured in Stanford Biodesign Video

Stanford Surgery trainees and faculty talk about the role innovation plays in our department. From the innovation council and seed grants to programs for residents to opportunities beyond campus, Stanford fuels Silicon Valley and vice versa. Watch here: https://youtu.be/hB_WMyai0CE 

April 2021

Department of Surgery Faculty Develop Cultural Competency Curriculum

“From Listening to Action Academic Surgical Departmental Response to Social Injustice Through Curricular Development” Read it here: https://journals.lww.com/annalsofsurgery/Fulltext/2021/12000/From_Listening_to_Action__Academic_Surgical.7.aspx 

May 2021

Dr. Carla Pugh Serves as Keynote Speaker at UT Southwestern Annual Simulation Symposium

This Forum aims to recognize the tremendous amount of scholarly activity that students, trainees, faculty, scientists, and educators are currently generating within our simulation community. 

March 2021

Cassidi Goll Wins Stanford Surgery DEI Award

 The JEDI Council presents its inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion awards to the TECI Center's Cassidi Goll and General Surgery Chief Resident Dr. Miquell Miller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spo8i5Jl2iQ 

March 2021

Dr. LaDonna Kearse Wins Best in Show for her Presentation at the American College of Surgeons Surgical Simulation Summit

Dr. Kearse’s presentation was titled “Diverse Surgeon Workforce: Quantifying Gender Differences in Technical Approach to Promote Awareness and Facilitate Learning Preferences"

February 2021

Dr. Calvin Perumalla Joins the TECI Center Team

Dr. Calvin Perumalla joined the TECI Center team as a postdoctoral researcher in February 2021. He received his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida. His graduate research work involved building a novel cardiac rhythm monitor with enhanced diagnostic capabilities. He was also involved in building machine learning models to detect cardiac abnormalities. Dr. Perumalla later spent two years working at a late-stage startup where he was involved in building Al models to detect anomalies in computer networks. He is passionate about using Al to improve the quality of human life and his current research interests include Computer Vision, Image Segmentation and Surgical Data Science.

November 2020

Dr. Carla Pugh Delivers Keynote Address at AAGL

AAGL is the largest medical society focused on gynecologic surgery, with an international membership of over 7,100 physicians and healthcare providers committed to advancing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (MIGS). AAGL’s Annual Global Congress is the premier scientific program that provides the world’s finest gynecologic surgeons with the latest education and best practices in MIGS.

October 2020

Dr. Carla Pugh Speaks at SURGICON - International Surgical Congress for Students 

“It's an honor to have the opportunity to give back and inspire the next generation of surgeons and scientists.” - Dr. Carla Pugh. Learn more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/surgicongress/

October 2020

Dr. Carla Pugh Added to Association for Surgical Education Wall of Honor 

In recognition of her mentorship and dedication to surgical education, Dr. Pugh was added to the Association for Surgical Education Wall of Honor. Learn more here: https://www.surgicaleducation.com/honoring-mentors/ 

September 2020

Dr. Kearse Joins TECI Center Team

Dr. LaDonna Kearse joins our team as a researcher while also serving as the Goodman Surgical Education Fellow (2020-2022). Dr. Kearse has completed two years of residency at Howard University and has a deep interest in surgical education and qualifying surgical metrics to shorten the learning curve to mastery. 

September 2020

Dr. Pugh Featured on Peer Spectrum Podcast

Dr. Pugh was featured on the Peer Spectrum podcast, “Journeys in Medicine,” with Dr. Keith Mankin and Colin Miller. The episode centers on the themes of measurement culture in surgery, the “quantified surgeon,” wearable technology, performance analytics and much more! Listen to the episode here.

August 2020

Dr. Pugh Featured in Stanford Medicine’s Hail to the Chief Series

This article is part of a series of interviews with Stanford Surgery faculty who were, are, or will be presidents of surgical societies. Carla Pugh, MD, PhD, is a Professor in the Division of General Surgery and Director of the TECI Center. She was elected President of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons for the 2021-22 term in April. Read the article here.

July 2020

T.E.C.I. Center Awarded Funding from the Scoliosis Research Society

Founded in 1966, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) is the premier international society aimed at fostering optimal care for all patients with spinal deformities. The T.E.C.I. Center teamed up with Dr. Steven Frick of Stanford Orthopaedics, Dr. John Vorhies of Stanford Children’s Orthopaedics, and Eli Cahan, a Masters Student in Health Policy to secure funding from the SRS. The funding will allow our team to leverage haptic sensor technology for force vector mapping in orthoses for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS).

July 2020

Dr. Pugh Featured on Behind the Knife Podcast

The episode, “Systemic Bias and Structural Racism in Surgery and Medicine” features Dr. Carla Pugh, Dr. Lola Fayanju and Dr. Fabian Johnston. Listen to the episode here.

July 2020

Dr. Pugh Featured in Summer 2020 Physicians Report Magazine

In the article, Dr. Pugh touches on AI & Machine Learning – trends that are shaping modern healthcare. Read the article here.

April 2020

New Publication: Benchmarking Accomplishments of Leaders in American Surgery and Justification for Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion

This manuscript sought to comprehensively assess the level of achievement and demographics of national surgical society presidents. Authors include Paris D. Butler, MD, MPH, Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, Elana Meer, BS, Lanair A. Lett, MB, Estifanos D. Tilahun, BS, Hilary A. Sanfey, MB, BCh, MHPE, Cherisse Berry, MD, Steven C. Stain, MD, Ronald P. DeMatteo, MD, Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, L. D. Britt, MD, MPH, and Colin A. Martin, MD. Read the manuscript here. 

April 2020

Dr. Pugh Featured in the book, “Passion and Purpose: Black Female Surgeons”

Dr. Praise Matemavi published a book that features the stories of 75 black female surgeons from all surgical disciplines and 27 countries. Dr. Pugh’s story is featured in Chapter 2: General Surgery. The book can be purchased here.

April 2020

Dr. Pugh Announced as President Elect for the Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS)

The mission of SBAS is to improve health, advance science, and foster careers of African American and other underrepresented minority surgeons. Learn more about SBAS here.

February 2020

Dr. Pugh Elected to the American Board of Surgery Council

Dr. Carla Pugh has been elected to the American Board of Surgery (ABS) Council. Her term will start in July 2020 and will last for six years. Dr. Pugh will join fellow Stanford Surgery Professor Dr. David Spain, who was elected to the council in September 2017, and Department Chair Dr. Mary Hawn, who serves as one of the ABS Directors. Learn more here.

December 2019

T.E.C.I. Center’s Surgical Metrics Project Featured in Stanford Medicine News Center

The article “Tracking the movements, minds of surgeons to improve performance” discusses our goals to Use data to improve surgical decision-making. Read the article written by Hanae Armitage here.

Photo taken by Edward Caldwell

October 2019

Dr. Pugh Inducted into the Halsted Society

The Halsted Society is dedicated to furthering the scientific principles and ideals of Dr. William Stewart Halsted. Learn more here. 

Photo courtesy of Halsted Society

October 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh Receives Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) 2019 Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award

The award is named in memory of Olga Jonasson, MD who was the first female chair of an academic department of surgery and a leader in the American College of Surgeons. The award is given to an Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) member who, through outstanding mentorship, enables and encourages women surgeons to realize their personal and professional goals.

Photo courtesy of AWS

October 2019

The T.E.C.I. Center’s Surgical Metrics Project Featured on CBS SF

The segment, “Surgeons Test New Wearable Tech That Helps Measure Operating Skills” can be watched here.

September 2019

T.E.C.I. Center Featured in the American College of Surgeons Bulletin

The T.E.C.I. Center is collaborating with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to introduce the Surgical Metrics Projects to attendees of the upcoming ACS Clinical Congress 2019. Learn more about the project here.

Photo courtesy of ACS

July 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh and Pamela Ratliff of Stanford Cancer Institute Join Armand Carr on Listen Up Bay Area 

The radio segment highlights the partnership that Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) and the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (T.E.C.I.) Center have built in an effort to empower women to take charge of their breast health. Listen to the segment here.

Photo courtesy of 102.9FM KBLX

May 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh Featured in Article by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

The article, "Medical Training Reinvented with the Help of a Woman's Touch," highlights Dr. Pugh's work with building new technologies to quantify haptic skills during medical training. Read the full article here

Photo courtesy of NIBIB

May 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh Receives Award at Surgical Education Week 

Dr. Pugh was awarded the Best Plenary Presenter award at Surgical Education Week (SEW) for her presentation: “Use of Error Management Theory to Quantify and Characterize Residents’ Error Recovery Strategies.”

April 2019

Proposal accepted by the Stanford Presence Center's AI in Medicine: Inclusion & Equity Initiative

Stanford’s Presence Center’s AI in Medicine: Inclusion & Equity Initiative announced its seed grant awardees for 2019.  The program’s goal is to “explore solutions, frameworks, and concepts to address the challenges raised at the symposium relating to the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and associated technologies, processes, and policies to address inclusion and equity in medicine and healthcare.” The T.E.C.I. Center’s proposal, “Promoting Breast Health Awareness in Underserved Communities: Can Haptic-AI Technology Help?” was one of the six grants awarded for the program.

March 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh Featured in Digital Surgery Blog Post, "Digital Surgery: Seeds in Fertile Soil"

In the blog post, Jean Nehme, co-founder at Digital Surgery, reflects on the inagural Digital Surgery Summit. The Summit gathered top-tier investors, leading surgeons, and key industry members to discuss all things digital surgery. Read the full blog post here. 

Photo courtesy of Digital Surgery

March 2019

The “Davos of Surgery” Converges Healthcare Leaders to Adopt a Unified and Digital Vision for the Future of Surgery

"On Thursday, March 21st, more than 160 attendees and 23 speakers attended the inaugural FT Digital Surgery Summit, including leaders from global medical device companies, tech start-ups, philanthropic organizations, investors, surgical departments, and health systems. As the first-ever high-level gathering of its kind, the Summit [in San Francisco] defined a bold, digital vision for the future of surgery and marked a seismic shift for the field." Dr. Carla Pugh was featured as a Keynote Speaker at the Summit. Learn more here. 

Photo courtesy of Digital Surgery

March 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh Featured in Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC) Magazine

On the cover of AWBC Magazine, Dr. Carla Pugh's many accomplishments are celebrated in honor of Women's History month. 

December 2018

Dr. Carla Pugh Featured in SCOPE Magazine Published by Stanford Medicine


The article, "Touch-sensor technology seen as a path for improving surgical training," highlights Dr. Carla Pugh's approaches to using haptic data in training. The article can be accessed here.

Photo by Timothy Archibald

January 2019

Dr. Carla Pugh Featured in Financial Times Article: "Robot Surgeons Lack Tactile Sensation to Replace Humans"

"...While cameras can record images of surgeons’ hand movements, they cannot measure how hard they are pressing, how tightly they are grasping, and how quickly they are changing direction. This is the focus of research for Professor Carla Pugh, director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center at Stanford University. Prof Pugh is using sensors to track the force and velocity of surgeons’ hand movements in simulated procedures." Read the full article here

Photo courtesy of Financial Times

October 2018

Dr. Carla Pugh Inducted into American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators

Chicago, IL 

The aim of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators is to recognize and assemble a cadre of Master Surgeon Educators of national and international renown who will work closely with the ACS Division of Education to advance the science and practice of avant-garde surgical education and training.  Dr. Pugh is a member of the inaugural class of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, selected in the summer 2018 and inducted on October 3, 2018. More information can be found here.

Photo courtesy of ACS

April 2018

Dr. Carla Pugh Inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) 

Washington, D.C. 

AIMBE is the authoritative voice and advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering to society. AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence, advance the public understanding, and accelerate medical and biological innovation. Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering and medicine research, practice, or education” and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education." For more information, please visit the AIMBE Website.


Photo courtesy of AIMBE

September 2014

Dr. Carla Pugh Gives TEDMED Talk: "Getting a Sense for the Surgical Touch"

Washington, D.C. 

At TEDMED 2014, Dr. Carla Pugh led the audience through an exploration of the missing link in medical education -- the effective development of haptic skills.  Watch Pugh's TEDMED talk here

Photo courtesy of TEDMED

September 2011

Dr. Carla Pugh Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Carla Pugh was awarded the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2011 for her novel research to develop the first physical test that objectively measures medical students' and physicians' ability to perform the clinical breast exam. The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Dr. Pugh was invited to the White House to accept this honorable award from President Barack Obama. 

Carla Pugh (first row, far left) joins President Barack Obama (first row, far right) and other winners of the NIH's prestigious early career award.