EMIGS: Updates and Information

The EMIGS program continues to blaze a new path for the future of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (MIGS). AAGL recently held an exciting webinar for American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics & Gynecology (CREOG) Program Directors to provide facts and updates about the AAGL EMIGS program. Out of the 230 CREOG sites invited to attend, almost all registered for the webinar. During the meeting, interested sites were asked to submit an application to indicate their intent to implement the EMIGS program. The response was phenomenal with over 50% of CREOG sites indicating they plan to participate.

EMIGS is a gynecologic surgery specific comprehensive training and testing program comprised of a validated Cognitive Examination, an accompanying web-based Didactic Component, and a validated Manual Skills Examination. The Manual Skills Examination consists of five laparoscopic exercises specific to gynecologic surgery. These exercises are conducted by use of a dedicated platform, called a LaparoBowl, that is placed inside a standard laparoscopic trainer to simulate the pelvic cavity. By early October 2022, the CREOG sites that submitted their application of intent, will be sent one LaparoBowl and 1 set of consumables to accompany the EMIGS program. Registration for EMIGS will open in the fourth quarter of this year, with the exam ready for administration in January of 2023.

The goal of EMIGS is to provide residents, fellows, and practicing physicians an opportunity to learn the essentials of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery using structured, standardized, and validated methods, and then to test their basic knowledge and manual skills, with the ultimate goal of elevating gynecologic surgical training and improving the quality of patient care.

Requiring completion of a cognitive and skills examination like EMIGS is part of a broader initiative by ABOG to incorporate simulation and standardize the knowledge and training completed by OB/GYN residents. The requirement to pass a manual skills assessment was announced in January 2018 for all physicians graduating from residency after May 31, 2020. At that time, FLS (Fundamentals in Laparoscopic Surgery) was the only validated examination available that met ABOG requirements.  In May 2022, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) approved EMIGS as an alternative to meet the standard for board eligibility.

A hands-on “EMIGS Experience” will be featured in the Exhibit Hall at this year’s Global Congress. This will give Congress attendees the opportunity to try it out and to see a piece of MIGS history in the making. While significant efforts are underway to gear up for a successful EMIGS roll-out in the US, we have simultaneously started translating EMIGS to other languages, and the AAGL is committed to expanding the use of the EMIGS program for international use, in keeping with our goals of “Elevating Gynecologic Surgery Worldwide”.

After many years of development, EMIGS is truly one of AAGL’s crowning achievements. We give our sincere thanks to the EMIGS Steering Committee, the nine AAGL Boards who held the vision, and the AAGL staff who contributed to its completion. Visit the AAGL EMIGS website for more information, to access the didactic component, and to sign up to take the EMIGS exam. If you have any questions, please contact Angie Diaz, EMIGS Program Director at adiaz@aagl.org.

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