MEET DR. ROSSER
James "Butch" Rosser, MD, FACS
Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Director of the Advanced Medical Technology Institute
Dr. James "Butch" Rosser, Jr. was born in 1954 in Rome, Mississippi. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and biology from the University of Mississippi. He completed his medical training at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine before completing a five-year surgical residency at Akron General Medical Center, where in 1984-85 he served as Chief Resident. After his residency, Dr. Rosser began an academic/private surgical practice at Akron General Medical Center and accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Surgery at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, where he received the 1991 "Golden Apple Professor of the Year" award for his outstanding contributions to medical education. Early in his career, inspired by Dr. Herbert Awender, Dr. Rosser realized the potential of endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery. He has pioneered a number of minimally invasive procedures, most notably his streamlined laparoscopic suturing technique, and now travels the globe teaching his Rosser Top Gun Laparoscopic Skills and Suturing Program and other techniques to thousands of surgeons. He has also distinguished himself by performing laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures on some of the youngest individuals in the world (15, 17, and 19 months), which earned him Kent State University's "Minority Achievement Award." He has also pioneered other surgical techniques and tactics that bear his name including the Rosser Jejunal Feeding Tube Insertion, Open Laparoscopy technique, Trocar Closure technique and the Rosser Laparoscopic Adhesion Classification.
In 1994, Dr. Rosser joined the Yale University School of Medicine faculty and was appointed Associate Professor and Director of Endo-Laparoscopic Surgery, where he dedicated 8 years to his ambitious goal of revolutionizing training methods in the field of minimally invasive surgery. He has successfully conducted over 150 post-graduate courses worldwide. Yale Laparoscopy became known as a global icon in this emerging field. Dr. Rosser continues to advocate aggressive education in all disciplines of laparoscopic surgery. He has never relented on his position that the key to future is empowerment and the transfer of "content", not the presence of technology alone. His Top Gun program has a database of over 5,000 surgeons that have taken this course and Dr. Rosser can provide percentile rankings of the participants with their peers.
Dr. Rosser has been a contributing editor of Surgical Laparoscopy and Endoscopy, Archives of Surgery and Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of the Society of Laparoscopic Surgery. He was also a moderator at the Fourth World Endoscopic Congress, and chairperson of the minimally invasive post-graduate course for the American College of Surgeons, Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), American Medical Association and Southern Medical Association. Dr. Rosser has written "The Art of Laparoscopic Suturing" due to be released this fall, several chapters in major laparoscopic textbooks, and over fifty surgical journal articles. His medical research interests are mini-laparoscopy under local anesthesia and conscious pain mapping. Dr. Rosser was the first to use full featured, fully interactive computer based instruction on the CD-ROM format and has authored ten CD-ROM titles over the last nine years, and six of them were released under the "Yale University Laparoscopic Series" label and have been internationally recognized. His efforts have not only been directed toward surgeons, but have also broken new ground in the area of patient information and informed consent, gaining critical acclaim in both the New England Journal of Medicine and its European counterpart The Lancet. Most recently, Dr. Rosser has conducted a study to determine if a significant correlation exists between video game experience and proficiency at laparoscopic surgery. He has always believed that his own affinity and skill at video games was directly related to his success performing surgery and suturing with laparoscopic tools. Dr. Rosser and his researchers found that indeed current video game skills and past video game experience were significantly more indicative of a surgeon's laparoscopic surgical proficiency than number of cases previously performed and years of training. These findings were presented at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference earlier this year and promises to a hot bed of research in the coming years.
Dr. Rosser has also been a key participant for numerous important medical society meetings including moderator for "Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia" at SAGES in 1993; "How to Teach a Technical Skill" and "Credentialing and Mentoring" at the 81st Annual American College of Surgeons Congress in 1995; "Emerging Issues in Minimally Invasive Surgery," "Advanced Laparoscopic Surgical Procedures in a Unique Outpatient Setting: The Recovery Hotel," "Mini-Laparoscopy under Local Anesthesia for General Surgeons" and "Knowledge Transfer Techniques for the Next Millennium" at the American College of Surgeons 25th Annual Spring Meeting in 1997; and chairperson for the Esophageal Session of the World Endoscopic Congress in 1994; the Minimally Invasive Section of the American College of Surgeons Post-Graduate Courses in 1995 and 1997; and the Top Gun Laparoscopic Skills Program at the American College of Surgeons over the last eight years.
As the founder of the non-profit organization Modern Day Miracle Incorporated, Dr. Rosser's goal is to expose the Îmodern day miracle' of minimally invasive surgery to underprivileged and undereducated countries around the world, many times via telemedicine, the remote care of patients using modern telecommunications. His "Operation Outreach" pioneered the technique of remotely guiding surgeons with little or no experience, who ultimately performed successful advanced laparoscopic procedures with Dr. Rosser thousands of miles away, and he feels that the safe maturation of telemedicine should be an important aspect of 21st century healthcare. Modern Day Miracle Incorporated provides follow-up inspection, data gathering, and continuing education tours to countries in need, as well as here in the United States, thereby allowing the art form of laparoscopic surgery to be properly nurtured. The program has been implemented in Greece, Jamaica, Aruba, and other Caribbean countries. Dr. Rosser's research and development activities have been the subject of several documentaries featured on the Learning Channel, the CBS Morning Show, CNN, and the Discovery Channel, and he has garnered three Smithsonian Awards for technical achievements in medicine. Dr. Rosser's efforts earned him awards and citations from organizations nationwide. In the past four years he has been honored with the National Role Model Award from Minority Access, Inc., a citation by University of Mississippi for Pioneering Work in Surgery, the Charles Drew Health Award and the 12th Living Legend in Medicine Award. His clinical expertise and extensive work in cutting edge medical training and research were recognized when he was featured in New York Magazine's "The Best Doctors in New York" Hall of Fame 2002. As a result of his extensive research and teaching methods, Dr. Rosser was recently acknowledged with the Johnson & Johnson Special Leadership Recognition Award for Contributions in Laparoscopic Surgery, and the Ethicon Endoscopy Special Recognition in Surgical Education.
Dr. Rosser's training techniques are unique in that they utilize many of the scientific inventions that he has developed over the years. To simulate an actual procedure performed in an operating room scenario, Dr. Rosser developed an inanimate model to train surgeons how to explore the common bile duct laparoscopically. He also designed a special video trainer to aid in teaching laparoscopic suturing as well as a laparoscopic skills and suturing kit for the establishment of a mobile skills lab. Innovative tools, such as a restraining device for instruments to decrease the number of surgeons required to perform laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, in addition to surgical drapes and camera holders, are other ways in which Dr. Rosser is revolutionizing minimally invasive surgical procedures. With the number of minimally invasive procedures Dr. Rosser has performed in his career, it is not surprising that he is also the designer of Signature Series Laparoscopic Suturing Devices, which are currently being used by surgeons worldwide. Along these same lines, Dr. Rosser was also the designer of a full line of ergonomic laparoscopic Cholecystectomy instruments, including the Rosser Laparoscopic needleholders and assist devices. In addition he has developed Infra-red localization and sizing device for laparoscopic esophageal procedures and laparoscopic irrigation and aspiration devices.
The idea of mobile training and healthcare has been and continues to be a primary objective in many of Dr. Rosser's ventures. Inspired by his work as the technical coordinator for the Yale/NASA Commercial Space Center under the direction of Dr. Ronald Merrill, he developed a mobile telemedicine unit and was the lead investigator of "Operation Housecall", a proof of concept project to develop mobile telemedicine applications, and "Operation Distant Angel", a project designed to bring healthcare to distant locations using telemedicine. Taking this concept to a global level, Dr. Rosser also spearheaded "Operation Rainforest", a mission using telemedicine to improve delivery of healthcare to rural areas of Ecuador and "Operation Messiah", a telemedical surgery link to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In addition, he and a team of other physicians with the Yale/NASA CSC, oversaw health delivery on two Mt. Everest expeditions where cutting edge medical technology for the international space station was tested. He has also utilized his technological expertise to beam education seminars to over 50,000 visitors to the Texas State fair with Operation Cowboy. Over one week, this project spread his high tech healthcare message with great effectiveness.
Dr. Rosser believes strongly that mentoring can positively impact the lives of young people and further that Cybermentoring can be used to overcome the obstacles of wider deployment of standard mentoring programs. His Cybermentoring program has taken him across the nation, many times via telecommunications, allowing him to expose students, who may not have otherwise had the opportunity, to the field of medicine
Currently, Dr. Rosser is the Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, as well as Director of Beth Israel's Advanced Medical Technology Institute (AMTI). AMTI is an education and research arm within the department of surgery with a goal of providing Beth Israel with the necessary infrastructure and support to their surgeons in order to allow the safe maturation and deployment of minimally invasive procedures by a large number of surgeons. AMTI will focus its efforts in four primary areas: Clinical Procedural Development and Practice in Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques; Cyber-based Education and Distance Learning; Research and Development; and Telemedicine Programs. AMTI is a unique platform that has been designed to support the hospitals of Continuum in this effort, as well as other hospitals around the world.
Dr. Rosser, at this time, performs most major intra-abdominal procedures utilizing minimally invasive techniques. The most notable being laparoscopic weight loss surgery. Dr. Rosser is currently developing a state-of-the-art bariatric center at Beth Israel Medical Center. He has been performing laparoscopic gastric bypasses for close to a year at the center and his patients have had triumphant results. Being a nutritionally challenged individual himself and having become a weight loss surgery patient two years ago, Dr. Rosser has a unique and profound insight into to the whole process beyond just the operating room. He relates to his patients as a peer and confidant, while at the same time, giving them the assurance of his world- renowned expertise. The Bariatric program at Beth Israel is anticipated to grow exponentially over the next two years as a result of Dr. Rosser distinctive approach and experience.
Dr. Rosser has devoted over 10 years to revolutionizing healthcare through personalized training methods for surgeons and other healthcare professionals and the utilization of technology to increase access to care for all. He continues to use advanced techniques and tactics to establish a new paradigm in healthcare delivery where "people don't come to healthcare but healthcare comes to the people" and we change our healthcare delivery policy from a defensive (after the fact) strategy to an offensive (preventative medicine) one.