by Ann Conti Morcos
“This is quite honestly the most impressive information available for surgeons today.” --Richard Satava, MD
“The mission of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) is to provide information and education to surgeons worldwide,” said Paul Wetter, MD, chairman of SLS, at the Eighteenth SLS Annual Meeting & Endo Expo 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, September 9-12.
In line with this mission, SLS has just launched SLS TV, said Wetter. Now, no matter where you are in the world, if you have Internet access or an iPhone, you can view educational videos of the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques. For example, one video shows a case of transvaginal extraction of donor nephrectomy.
Another shows a case of laparoendoscopic single site (LESS) cholecysto-hysterectomy. Videos are also available for bariatric, cancer, colon, hernia, hysterectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, multispecialty, nephrectomy, and robotic surgical techniques. This initial group of videos on SLS TV comprises award winning videos presented at the Endo Expo in Chicago 2008 and Boston 2009, and they are now available free of charge for all to view. Yes, SLS TV is open access, as is the entire SLS Web site. To view SLS TV, log onto http://laparoscopy.blogs.com/slstv/. The categories of videos are listed on the left side of the page. Just click on the topic of interest, and the videos will appear. Choose the one you want, click, and enjoy. It’s that simple.
In the future, SLS TV will offer journal link videos, textbook link videos, unusual cases, teaching videos, equipment training videos, a video journal for minimally invasive surgery, videos by category, videos by speciality, and regular and HD videos. For example, the 3rd edition of the SLS textbook Prevention and Management of Laparoendoscopic Surgical Complications is currently being developed. The online version will have videos imbedded in the text, which you will be able to access with just a click. You will also be able to watch these videos on your iPhone. This is especially helpful, for example, when making rounds. You can show fellows or interns a video of various procedures or access information on the spot to answer questions a surgical student might have.
Medical journal websites are 5% open access and 95% closed access. No so with SLS. This is really noteworthy: the SLS website has been 95% open access in the past and is now 100% open access. So SLS is leading the way in providing quick, free access to the latest minimally invasive surgical information to surgeons all around the globe. In fact, JSLS is so accessible that it has ranked in the TOP 100 of 10,000 scientific publications on IngentaConnect for full-text downloads in April, June, August, November, December 2007; March, June, August 2008; and February, March 2009.
To reach out to more surgeons around the world and provide them access to minimally invasive educational material, the 1st edition of Prevention and Management is now available online in Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese, in addition to English.
“It is important to keep up with not only national but international advances,” said Wetter. In addition to SL TV, the SLS website will help busy surgeons keep up with all of the latest medical information. It will be right at their fingertips. No password is required.
Also available on the Web site is RSS (really simple syndication) feed, which allows access to hundreds of newspapers and journals. You can even have RSS feed of the latest SLS information sent directly to your computer or iPhone. You can also conduct searches, powered by Google, on the SLS website through the Scholarly Laparoscopy Search page, which allows you to search the SLS open access 1st edition textbook, SLS meetings, Laparoscopy Today, SLS CME and Online Support Materials, multispecialty peer reviewed JSLS articles, and you can even enter your own topic to search.
Social networking is all the rage today among young surgeons and surgeons who are young at heart. The SLS website allows you to share information with colleagues through various social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, My Space, and over 100 others just by clicking on the Share link available in the left hand column on most SLS Web site pages.
As mentioned above, the 3rd edition of the SLS textbook is now being written and will be available in both printed and online versions. Currently, two other books are available on the Web site: Nezhat’s History of Endoscopy and the 1st edition of the SLS textbook published in 1999. Both, of course, are open access.
Also available on the website is information about the AsianAmerican and EuroAmerican MultiSpecialty Summits. Web site pages for these conferences are up all year round. These Summits alternate each year, with the EuroAmerican Summit having representatives from Europe and the Americas meeting every two years in Orlando, Florida, and the AsianAmerican Summit being held in Hawaii in alternate years for Pacific Rim countries. You can register online to attend these conferences.
A Virtual Exhibit Hall is also available on the Web site. This is a directory to exhibitors and resources for surgeons. If you are looking for a particular type of instrument, this is the place to find it. Contact information is available so you can connect with the manufacturer of whatever minimally invasive instruments interest you.
It is even possible to find a physician who is a member of SLS no matter where he or she lives, either in the United States or outside of the United States, by visiting the Find a Doctor page that has links to the SLS member directory.
Best of all, you are free to copy, distribute, and transmit any information on the SLS website as long as you indicate where you obtained the information, you do not use the material for commercial purposes, and you do not alter, change, or add your own information to the work. Yes, SLS ascribes to Creative Commons. Just click on the Creative Commons icon to find out more.
With no password required, 100% open access, powerful search capabilities, SLS TV, and much more, the SLS website is the right place to increase your knowledge and training in minimally invasive surgery.