Cleveland Clinic

Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery

Advanced hands-on training in laparoscopic surgery is offered by Cleveland Clinic’s Department of General Surgery under the preceptorship of John Rodriguez, MD. The goal of the program is to help practicing physicians:
  • Improve proficiency in the diagnosis and treatment of patients requiring laparoscopic surgery
  • Learn the appropriate criteria for selecting patients that may benefit from surgical intervention and thus improve surgical outcomes
  • Learn innovative laparoscopic strategies and techniques
Curriculum of this training program may include observation, didactic sessions and lab work followed by outpatient experience and hands-on surgical training under the direct supervision of the preceptor.

Learning goals in the outpatient clinic include:
  • Patient Evaluation
  • Patient Selection
Learning goals in the operating room include hands-on training in techniques of minimal incision laparoscopic surgery that may include:
  • Foregut and bariatric surgery
  • Enteral access including laparoscopic G- and J- tubes
  • Inguinal and ventral hernia repair
  • Splenectomy
  • Adrenalectomy
  • Liver tumor ablation/laparoscopic ultrasonography
  • Laparoscopic colon surgery
  • Surgical flexible endoscopy
  • Antireflux surgery
Please note: Case volume is estimated and may vary depending on scheduling and staff availability.


Applicants must: 
  • Be board-certified or board-eligible general surgeons who routinely perform basic laparoscopic procedures
  • Be licensed in the state of Ohio or eligible to apply for a Special Activities Permit from the Ohio State Medical Board
  • Have practicing privileges in their parent institution
  • Provide a statement of goals and expectations, along with the application
International Applicants:
  • To participate, non-citizen physicians can only participate if they already have U.S. employment authorization e.g. Green Card, Temporary Protected Status, Refugee or Asylee status, or any other status which permits them to work in the U.S. without employer sponsorship.
  • If you do have current U.S. employment authorization, as an international physician, you must also be ECFMG certified, having taken USMLE 1-3, in order to participate.
  • If you only have ECFMG, then you will need to have actively practiced medicine in the U.S. for the last 2 years, or have been in an ACGME training program within the last 2 years.
  • If you have not done either of those items, then you must complete all parts of USMLE to be eligible for Special Activities License.
  • If you meet these qualificiations, then we can proceed with your application for the CAST program.
  • If not, you will be directed to the International Observership program and they will be able to explain the opportunities available to you there.
  • One week: $5,000
  • Two weeks: $10,000
  • Three weeks: $15,000
  • Four weeks: $20,000
  • Five weeks: $25, 000
  • Six weeks: $30,000
  • Seven weeks: $35,000
  • Eight weeks: $40,000
**Please note that you will have the option to split up your training weeks throughout the year, if necessary.

**In the event that you need to cancel after payment has been received, application has been approved, and onboarding has begun, you will incur a cancellation fee of 30% of your tuition. The remaining balance (70%) will be reimbursed back to you.
The first step is to complete and submit this pre-application form

Our office will contact you shortly thereafter.