TTUHSC El Paso Hosts Surgical Skills Conference

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) recently welcomed surgical educators from across the state for the 2017 annual meeting of the Texas Association of Surgical Skills Laboratories.

The organization, commonly known as TASSL, aims to improve simulation-based surgical training by fostering collaboration and research among residents and other learners. Assistant Professor of Surgery Victor Olivas Jr., M.D., is the 2017 president of TASSL. Associate Professor Brian Davis, M.D., served as chair of the meeting’s organizing committee.


TTUHSC El Paso Assistant Professor of Surgery Victor Olivas Jr., M.D., is president of TASSL for 2017.

The two-day conference kicked off Thursday, Sept. 7 with a dinner and group session at West El Paso’s Coronado Country Club, with approximately 30 attendees.

The following morning, the membership gathered at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine for a day of educational presentations and opportunities for hands-on experience with surgical simulation equipment, including robotic ru surgery trainers.


During TASSL’s annual meeting at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, members had hands-on experience with surgical simulators, including a da Vinci robotic surgery trainer.

The keynote speaker for the event was Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Ritter, M.D., associate professor of surgery and vice chairman for education in the Department of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University. Ritter’s presentation was titled “Simulation Models to Train Proficiency for the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery Exam.”

For more information about TASSL, visit