Grant Application

Francesco M. Egro, MD, MSc, MRCS, UPMC Mercy

Proposed Innovation

Serious burn injuries can be devastating, requiring specialized wound care, surgery, and skin grafts. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medicine Education mandates that residents in most surgical specialties be proficient in certain burn surgery skills, such as skin graft harvesting. However, residents are trained directly on patients because there are no existing models or burn surgery simulation programs.

This project aims to develop the world’s first burn surgery simulation training -program where residents can learn and perform basic burn surgical skills in a simulated setting before operating on patients.

Improvements in Action

Through this project, a pilot program will be developed requiring all medical students and residents at UPMC Mercy to rotate through burn surgery service training during the 2017-18 academic year. Three 30-minute stations will include:

  • Basic Burn Management — a tutorial covering the basic aspects of acute burn management, including the physiologic response to burns, burn wound assessment, first aid, and referral guidelines to burn center.
  • Burn Excision Model — a porcine leg model used to create deep burns of varying patterns, sizes, and degrees of difficulty so residents can practice excision techniques.
  • Human Skin Model — a model created from the skin of patients who undergo a panniculectomy, or “tummy tuck,” used to teach and practice skin graft harvesting and meshing..


Developing a burn surgery simulation training program is projected to better prepare residents and improve patient safety by shifting training from live patients to a simulated setting. Residents are expected to develop more confidence, knowledge, and technical skills while learning and practicing basic burn surgical skills in a safe, simulated setting.