General Session IV – The Hands

The Hands


Day 4: Wednesday, November 14, 2018


7:30 am – 9:30 am


Premier Ballroom


Surgeon’s identity will be revealed on stage during the final performance

First Assistant

Helder Ferreira, Kimberly A. Kho, Jin Hee “Jeannie” Kim


Judges: Jason A. Abbott, Shan M. Biscette, John R. Miklos

OR Nurse

Wendy Winer


This session is a spin-off of the four-time Emmy Award winning show “The Voice”. Surgical teams consisting of a primary surgeon and assistant from differing institutions from across the country are invited to challenge one another with regard to competence, efficacy, and style in performing various assigned procedures. Rather than assessing the participants’ voices, the judges will assess the surgeon’s and assistant’s surgical skills and techniques by viewing external hand movements and the internal laparoscopic view of the procedure being performed.

This session’s innovative format features three stages: the first begins with the blind auditions of 3 surgeons and his/her assistant, then the knockout rounds between surgical teams and coaching judges, concluding with the winner of the “The Hands” trophy determined by audience and observing judge’s votes.

Blind Audition: During the blind audition, the decisions from the judges are based solely on the surgeon’s hand movement. The judges see the surgeons perform, but they don’t get to see them. The judges will choose the surgical team that they want to team up with based on a pre-determined luck of the draw order. If a judge is impressed by the surgical team’s technique, he or she pushes a designated button to select the surgeons for his or her team. The judge who gets second choice then chooses between the two remaining surgical teams. The final judge is paired with the final surgical team.

Once the teams are set, the battle is on.

Knockout Round: The surgical procedure being performed during the Knockout Round will be done in succession as they go head to head against each other. The judge who is teamed up with a surgical team may coach his surgical team during performance of the procedure; however, the surgical team is not allowed to respond verbally. Again, only their external hands and internal laparoscopic view will be shown to the judges. At the conclusion of the Knockout Round, the audience will decide which two of the three surgical teams will advance to the championship round.

Championship Performance: During the final performance, the remaining surgical teams will perform the surgical procedure voted on by the audience. The audience and judges will only see the duo’s external hands and internal view and will base their votes on how skilled the surgical team is in performing the task assigned. The winner is determined by audience votes through the ARS system. The last surgical team standing takes home bragging rights and the “The Hands” winner award! The identity of all of these excellent surgeons will finally be revealed.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this session, the clinician will be able to: 1) Use this fun and entertaining session as a way to assess the technical skills and efficiency of expert surgical teams.

Course Outline

Please refer to program below.

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