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Marseille marks the final stop of the Surgical Simulation Tour

March 25, 2021

For the past several months VirtaMed’s mobile simulation lab has been touring France as part of a national Surgical Simulation Tour bringing hands-on training to residents currently impacted by COVID-19. The mobile simulation laboratory made its first appearance in Strasbourg and will now deliver a final round of surgical training in Marseille on March 25-26. 

Health officials have observed that residents spend less and less time in the operating room. However, it is essential that they regularly practice their skills in order to complete their training. This is why VirtaMed, a world leader in medical simulation training, has joined forces with the French Association of Surgery (AFC) and the STAN Institute, a training center that transposes the simulation teaching capabilities from aviation to healthcare, to promote the practice of simulation-based surgery.

Never the first time on the patient

Restrictions on how many hours residents can work, coupled with problems such as congestion in intensive care units and the suspension of elective surgeries related to Covid-19, have sharply reduced the chances trainee surgeons have to practice. However, the High Authority for Health (HAS) in France reiterates the fundamental principle of  "Never the first time on a patient," which is particularly relevant to surgery, and thus to surgery simulation. For the first few procedures, students often practice on cadavers or animals, but these methods are expensive and raise ethical questions. Simulation, which bypasses these issues, has thus become the preferable benchmark for training.

The surgical simulator, a comprehensive learning solution

VirtaMed develops innovative simulators for laparoscopy, gynecology, arthroscopy and urology that allow residents to train in a risk-free environment. Unlike most simulators, the VirtaMed platform is interchangeable and can be used with all VirtaMed training modules (e.g. knee, pelvis, etc.).

The LaparoS ™ simulator was chosen to be part of the French ‘Surgical Simulation Tour’ because of its ability to create a realistic surgical experience using haptic feedback, virtual reality, and life-like models.

Professor Patrick Pessaux, President of the AFC shared his enthusiasm: “The mobile surgical simulation laboratory plays an essential role in promoting simulation as a training tool in many university hospitals. We are delighted to partner with VirtaMed and bring the latest generation of simulators to our colleagues. The health crisis has had a negative impact on surgical training, but this joint initiative shows how much a pioneering spirit can succeed ”.

Lucie Klikova, Business Development Manager at Virtamed: “VirtaMed is pleased with the quality of this privileged partnership with the AFC and the STAN Institute. In recent months, the mobile simulation laboratory has crisscrossed France in order to support training in the difficult context of the current health crisis. By making our simulation laboratory available in approximately twenty hospitals, we are offering more than 250 residents the opportunity to continue the training developed by the AFC on our teaching tools. We are happy that VirtaMed's surgical simulators can be a part of the educational continuity of medical students ”.

Erwan de Penfentenyo, Director of Support, and trainer at the STAN Institute: “We are delighted to support AFC, its members, and VirtaMed on this innovative and extremely promising project. In view of the very positive feedback from the residents who tested this solution during the various stages of the mobile laboratory, there is no doubt that this model perfectly meets a need. We are bringing together three components like never before: university supervision, support for professionals in non-technical skills, and advanced Swiss engineering”.

The final stop of the ‘Surgical Simulation Tour’ will be on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 March 2021 at the Marseille University Hospital Center for Surgical Education and Research (CERC) with Doctor Pauline Duconseil, member of the AFC Scientific Council, and Doctor Raimundo Sierra, CEO of VirtaMed in attendance. 

Interested to discover more about surgical simulation?


About the French Association of Surgery (AFC) 

Founded over a century ago, the French Association of Surgery has counted among its members the biggest names in French surgery and nowadays consists of more than 2000 surgeons. The AFC brings together several specialties of visceral surgery: oeso-gastric, hepato-bilio-pancreatic, colorectal, endocrine, parietal and bariatric surgery. To find out more, visit 

Association Française de Chirurgie
+33 1 45 44 96 77
Pr Patrick Pessaux, Président
+33 3 69 55 05 52

About VirtaMed

VirtaMed is the world leader in medical training using mixed reality simulators for minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in general surgery, OB/GYN, orthopedics, and urology. Combining virtual reality graphics with original instruments and anatomic models for realistic tactile feedback, VirtaMed partners with medical societies, such as the Association Française de Chirurgie (AFC), and medical device companies.

VirtaMed’s simulation platform offers unique features:

  • Compatibility with all VirtaMed training specialities
  • Possibility to switch between different modules in less than 1 minute
  • Reliability and robustness of Swiss engineering

VirtaMed's vision is to improve the quality of medical care with state-of- the-art, virtual reality based medical training and education. For more information, visit

Phil Norris 
+41 44 542 91 11 

About STAN Institute

Since its creation in 2015, STAN Institute trained more than 2000 worldwilde surgeons and nurses. The team is composed of 3 experts in Human Factors and Organisational behavior, all with a background in aviation. Jean-Pierre, who flies on Mirage 2000D since 1997, is a certified professional coach and an expert in risk management. Erwan, with 8500 flight hours as captain of cargo aircraft, is now the training director and expert in surgical robotic systems. Marjorie, who trained fighter pilots on advanced flight simulators for 10 years, is the team training expert and curriculum director. 
Nowadays they train medical staff to enhance their skills to reach excellence through simulator systems. For more information, visit


Marjorie Mazeau
Curriculum Director
Phone : +33 36 20 20 207