Surgical and Anatomical Simulation (SAS)


A comprehensively integrated curriculum, Surgical and Anatomical Simulation (SAS) exists primarily for the experiential training of medical professionals through the use of human cadavers.  SAS owes its existence and outcomes in excellence to the complementary Anatomical Donation Program (ADP), which allows eminently generous individuals in the middle Tennessee region to donate their bodies to Vanderbilt to enhance the educational and research opportunities of medical professionals.  The SAS facility occupies a restricted corridor on the first floor of Medical Center North.  Recent renovations to the historical Gross Anatomy Lab converted the space into three Learning Laboratories, administrative offices, and ancillary spaces.  The new Gross Anatomy Lab, added in 2007 primarily for the initial training of medical students, occasionally hosts courses offered through SAS to internal and external clients of Vanderbilt University.

About SAS

Established as an institutional resource, SAS embodies the developmental learning notion that once medical professionals complete a basic anatomy course, they transit a portal leading to a continuing need for advanced details, specific to their chosen specialties.  And because the healthcare profession continually refines procedures and sees improvements in preferred supplies, equipment, and devices, learners must gain familiarity with the new tools of their profession. 

Whether a new or existing procedure or technology, skills must be practiced to achieve refinements leading to mastery.  SAS facilities provide access for healthcare professionals to practice and improve such skills in a no harm setting, where the focus is on the learner and not on delivery of patient care. SAS encourages Course Directors to collaborate with staff to create learning objectives and optimized specialty training for residents, practicing physicians, advanced practice nurses, and upper level medical students.

SAS also supports individual practice in advance of a complicated surgical procedure.  And research opportunities abound, ranging from feasibility testing with state-of-the-art medical devices to analysis of individual human variations. 

Provide medical professionals with specialty-specific learning or research activities that advance their foundational anatomic knowledge, through authentic spatial and tactile experiences to practice and achieve competence with procedural skills. 

That medical professionals attain procedural mastery of their skills, informed by a refined comprehension of human anatomy and evolving technologies