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Surgical Education and Simulation Research Fellowship

The Surgical Education and Simulation Research Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital provides formal training in principles and methods of surgical education and research.


The Surgical Education and Simulation Research Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital is dedicated to training fellows to be academic surgical leaders in the field of surgical education, research and simulation.

Also, this program consists of close relationships with the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness, the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These relationships, along with others in Boston and across the country, have helped fellows pursue research projects in a variety of areas that bridge education, outcomes and technology.

This program can be one to two years in length depending on the fellow’s career aspirations and available financial resources.

As part of the Consortium of American College of Surgeons (ACS) Accredited Institutes, this fellowship program consists of high-quality formal didactic and hands-on training with regular feedback and mentorship.

Goals of the Program

Graduates of the Surgical Education Research and Simulation Fellowship will be able to:

  • Conceive, develop and run simulation-based training and evaluation modules
  • Create, administer and evaluate new simulation programs/centers
  • Critically appraise and/or conduct simulation-based medical education research
  • Describe the theoretical and scientific foundations of simulation-based medical/surgical education

Areas of Research

Fellows will be able to learn about various research topics, including:

  • Adult learning theories
  • Assessment of education outcomes
  • Emotional intelligence development
  • Enhancing medical student exposure to surgery
  • Linking resident education to patient outcomes / satisfaction
  • Machine learning and Artifical Intelligence (AI)-based assessment
  • Resident burnout prevention
  • Resident clinical prioritization skills
  • Simulation-based skills training
  • Video-based education and coaching


Fellows are expected to publish at least two manuscripts during the program. 

The didactic training includes coursework through the Center for Medical Simulation Instructors Course and the Harvard Macy Institute in the following courses:

  • A Systems Approach to Assessment
  • Leading Innovations in Health Care and Education
  • Program for Educators in Health Professions

Specific information about each of these courses can be provided by request. 

Learn more about the curriculum.



Fellowship Faculty

  • Jennifer Doyle, MA

    Director of Surgical Education
    Surgical education administration/Assessment and program evaluation

  • Denise Gee, MD

    Director of Surgical Simulation, Co-Director ACS-AEI Surgical Fellowship
    Technical skills training and assessment

  • James Gordon, MD

    Director, Mass General Learning Laboratory
    Health care simulation, deliberate practice, clinical performance assessment, education administration          

  • Emily Hayden, MD, MHPE

    Director of Simulation Faculty Development
    Heath care simulation, faculty development

  • Ozanan Meireles, MD

    Director, Surgical Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Laboratory
    Surgical innovation and new technology applications

  • John Mullen, MD

    General Surgery Program Director
    Surgical education administration

  • Emil Petrusa, PhD

    Co-Director, ACE-AEI Surgical Fellowship
    Learner assessment, statistical analysis, simulation

  • Roy Phitayakorn, MD, MHPE

    Co-Director, ACS-AEI Surgical Fellowship
    Curriculum development and assessment, surgical simulation, non-technical skills and team training 


Current Fellows

  • Douglas Cassidy, MD

    Dr. Douglas Cassidy obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in neurobiology and behavior from Cornell University. He earned is MD from Tufts University School of Medicine. He is currently one of the Surgical Education Research & Simulation Fellows at Massachusetts General Hospital. This year, he is completing his Surgical Education Research Fellowship through the Association for Surgical Education (ASE).

    His research interests include the relationship between simulation proficiency and operative autonomy, technical skills acquisition and development, curriculum development, and resident-led teaching.

  • Sophia K. McKinley, MD, MEd

    Dr. Sophia K. McKinley obtained her bachelor’s degree in neurobiology at Harvard College. She earned her MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr. McKinley also received a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a Zuckerman Fellow through the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    Her research has previously focused on the role of sleep in motor skill acquisition. Now she is primarily interested in the non-technical skills of surgical trainees and has published on the emotional intelligence of resident physicians.

    Dr. McKinley’s current work focuses on patient perceptions of the care and relationships provided by general surgery resident physicians. She also facilitates the Residents as Teachers curriculum at the Mass General Department of Surgery in her role as surgical education research fellow.

  • Naomi Sell, MD, MHS

    Dr. Naomi M. Sell obtained her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. She earned her MD from Jefferson Medical College. Dr. Sell also received a Master of Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a concentration in Molecular Microbiology & Immunology.

    Her research focuses on the use of video coaching as a supplement to improve technical performance in basic and advanced surgical skills. She also is interested in the use and improvement of multimedia in teaching and is currently working on the development of detailed instructional videos of surgical operations for medical students and surgical residents.

    In addition to her work as an education fellow, Dr. Sell also performs clinical outcomes research focusing on surgical oncology and colorectal surgery. She is a T32 research fellow with the Harvard Translational Research in Aging group at BIDMC/HSL. Her current work focuses on creating a prehabilitation protocol for pancreatic cancer patients to improve surgical outcomes and patient quality of life.


  • Daniel A. Hashimoto, MD, MS

    Dr. Daniel Hashimoto obtained his bachelor's degree in biology with a specialization in neuroscience from Boston University. He earned his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. He also obtained an MS in translational research with a focus on technology and surgical education for which the majority of his research was conducted at the Imperial College London.

    His research has previously focused on investigating methods of improving the efficiency and quality of technical skills acquisition. His current research also includes the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision in the operating room for surgical education and clinical decision support.

    He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Board of Governors of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES).

    Watch his presentation at the World Medical Innovation Forum on April 23, 2018

  • Brenessa Lindeman, MD, MEHP

    Dr. Brenessa Lindeman is a native of Kentucky, receiving her MD from Vanderbilt and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed her residency in general surgery at Johns Hopkins University and a fellowship in endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her clinical interests include thyroid cancer, benign thyroid disease, hyperparathyroidism, adrenal disease and surgical treatment of inherited endocrine syndromes. She is currently an associate professor of surgery at the University of Alabama Birmingham, the Associate Director of the General Surgery Residency Program and the Associate Designated Institutional Official in UAB’s Graduate Medical Education office.

    Dr. Lindeman has distinguished herself as a surgical educator and was a member of the Mass General Surgical Education Research Group from 2016 to 2017. She served as an Administrative Chief Resident at John Hopkins, and won both the Medical Student Teaching and the Resident Teaching awards. She earned a Master of Education in the Health Professions from Johns Hopkins University and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of American Medical Colleges for four years. She is also an author of the AAMC’s Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency.

    Building on her expertise as a surgical educator, Dr. Lindeman conducts research into the development of competency in surgical trainees, learning environment, physician wellness and burnout, learner mistreatment and resident supervision and autonomy.

  • Praelada Wongsirimeteekul, MD

    Dr. Praelada Wongsirimeteekul obtained her MD from Chiang Mai University, Thailand. She won the King’s scholarship in Thailand providing an opportunity to study aboard for one year. She is currently a surgical education research fellow in the Mass General Department of Surgery with Dr. Roy Phitayakorn as a supervisor.

    Her research has focused in simulation particularly in Surgery. Her current research includes the OR multidisciplinary simulation cases.


The Surgical Education and Simulation Research Fellowship at Mass General provides the fellow with didactic and mentored training that encompasses:

  • Administration and leadership
  • Curriculum design and evaluation
  • Educational theory
  • Faculty development
  • Learner and program evaluation, and
  • Technology support and simulation.  

Our existing simulation-based education fellowship curriculum is particularly robust and culminates in a Teaching and Learning Certificate with a Concentration in Healthcare Simulation which is offered by our affiliated Mass General Institute of Health Professions (a graduate school founded by Massachusetts General Hospital).

All fellows will complete the certificate program, which includes coursework at the Institute for Medical Simulation (Center for Medical Simulation in Cambridge, MA) and the Harvard-Macy Institute (Program for Educators in the Health Professions). Depending on funding levels, there is also the possibility that fellows will be able to obtain a Masters in Health Professions Education through the Mass General Institute of Health Professions.

Mentored training in the above cognitive elements as well as human/fiscal resource management and research design/methodology will be delivered through bi-weekly meetings with the Fellowship research group and monthly meetings of institution-wide surgical education research meetings. 

The fellow will have an opportunity to work very closely with Roy Phitayakorn, MDDenise Gee, MD, and Emil Petrusa, PhD, to design and complete their own individual research project that emphasizes at least one of the cognitive elements mentioned above. The simulation specialists will also mentor the fellow so that the fellow is comfortable managing the technical elements of a successful simulation session including role playing/improvisation and technical troubleshooting. 

How to Apply


Applicants must either:

  1. Have an MD and be enrolled or have completed a residency in any surgically-oriented field, or
  2. Be enrolled in or have completed a PhD program in a relevant field (including but not limited to psychometrics, education and computer science). 

All applicants must demonstrate a minimum level of external funding that can cover both salary and cost of living in Boston.

How to Apply

To apply for the Surgical Education and Simulation Research Fellowship at Mass General, please contact Roy Phitayakorn, MD, Denise Gee, MD or Emil Petrusa, PhD, by email with a letter of intent and a copy of your curriculum vitae.

Roy Phitayakorn, MD, MHPE, FACS

Denise Gee, MD, FACS

Emil Petrusa, PhD

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