IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

Videos of Surgical Procedures for Medical Student and Resident Training

Proposal Status: 

We propose the production of a few high quality videos of high-volume procedures in the area of plastic and reconstructive surgery. We plan to use three GoPro HD Hero2 Professional ( with the included head straps for recording 5 surgical procedures from three different points of views, the primary surgeon, assisting surgeon, and medical student. The videos will then be edited and dialogue added to walk the viewer through these procedures. The current repository of surgical procedure videos is limited in both quality, and primarily to endoscopic procedures where there is already video input. This would add high-quality, high-definition videos of non-endoscopic procedures to enhance teaching of students and residents prior to even entering the operating room. It would also provide a starting point for the addition of multiple other surgical procedures in a variety of specialties over time.


Through this project, we will be able to contribute surgical videos to an online repository that will be used for training and dispersing knowledge regarding surgical procedures. This could be delivered either through a UCSF-specific website, or a national repository such as the NIH’s MedlinePlus page of Videos of Surgical Procedures (  The national repository is far from complete and does not include many videos in several specialties. Many of the videos in the repository are also lectures about the procedures without any footage. Furthermore, UCSF’s Department of Surgery frequently performs procedures that are not typically done at other institutions. Thus, UCSF is in a prime position to deliver educational material to a large audience.

Impact on UCSF's mission and/or community

The UCSF mission is Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering. It’s vision is to be the best provider of health care services, the best place to work and the best environment for teaching and research.

By implementing this project, we will contribute to the teaching and discovering that occurs both on UCSF campus and nationwide, if the proper permissions can be obtained. By building a repository of high-quality surgical videos, trainees will have a much better understanding of the procedures before stepping foot in the operating room. Once there, they can decrease surgical errors, focus more on details of the procedure, and teach others who have not had the chance to previously see the procedure or watch a tutorial video.

List of team members and their roles

Jason Pomerantz, MD (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, subject matter expert)
Hani Sbitany, MD (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, subject matter expert)
Paul Mittermiller, MS4 (visionary, user)
Ryan Lee, MS4 (visionary, user)
Andrew Ahn, BA (video editor,

Estimated time devoted by each team member

Jason Pomerantz, MD (40 hrs)
Hani Sbitany, MD (40 hrs)
Paul Mittermiller, MS4 (40 hrs)
Ryan Lee, MS4 (40 hrs)
Andrew Ahn, BA (40 hrs)



This project would certainly enhance the teaching of surgical procedures! There are similarities to another proposal: - perhaps some collaboration or shared resources may be possible.

We would definitely be willing to share resources. The cameras we would use are specifically designed for situations requiring a high-definition, low-weight, low-profile device, so they could easily also be used for filming other, less invasive procedures. Creating a repository for the videos would also allow for simplification of filmed procedures even though the audiences and procedures are quite different.

Chris Freise, MD from the UCSF Division of Transplant Surgery has also offered to participate in this project if carried out. This would expand the current specialties to include transplant surgery in addition to craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, and general plastic surgery with continued opportunities for involvement with other surgical fields.

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