Program Overview

Program Overview

Advanced training in laparoscopic surgery and surgical endoscopy is offered by Cleveland Clinic’s Department of General Surgery under the preceptorship of Matthew Kroh, MD. The goal of the program is to help practicing physicians:

  • Improve proficiency in the diagnosis and treatment of patients requiring advanced laparoscopic surgery and surgical endoscopy, with a focus on diseases of the foregut and bariatric and metabolic procedures. 
  • Learn the appropriate criteria for selecting patients that may benefit from surgical and endoscopic intervention for these orders and thus improve surgical outcomes. Specific consideration will be given to technical conduct of the operation.
  • Learn innovative laparoscopic and endoscopic strategies and techniques in these areas.


The curriculum under our various training programs include observation, didactic sessions and lab work followed by outpatient experience and hands-on surgical training under the direct supervision of the preceptor (under the hands-on surgery pathway).

Learning goals in the outpatient clinic include:

  • Patient evaluation.
  • Patient selection.
  • Program development and care pathways.
  • Postoperative care and follow-up.

Learning goals in the operating room and endoscopy suite include observation and/or hands-on training in techniques of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and surgical endoscopy that may include:

  • Foregut surgery, including hiatal hernia, anti-reflux, achalasia, gastroparesis, gastric cancer, and GIST tumor resection.
  • Metabolic and bariatric surgery with a focus on revisional procedures, including conversion sleeve gastrectomy to RYGB, revision RYGB, Nissen to RYGB, sleeve gastrectomy to SADI-S.
  • Enteral access including G- and J- tubes, both laparoscopic and endoscopic approaches.
  • Surgical flexible endoscopy, including diagnostic and screening EGD and colonoscopy, POEM, G-POEM, Z-POEM, management of surgical complications including stenting, clipping, suturing, septotomy, endo-VAC, management of stricture and bleeding, and primary endoluminal procedures such as ESG and intra-gastric balloon placement.

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 (Applicants for the Surgery Hands-on Training pathways only).
  • 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 participate without clinic visa sponsorship if they have unrestricted U.S. employment authorization, e.g. lawful permanent resident (green card); Temporary Protected Status; Temporary Resident Status, Refugee or Asylee status, or any other status which authorizes the non-citizen physician to work 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 two years, or have been in an ACGME training program within the last two 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 qualifications, 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.
Duration and Tuition

Duration and Tuition

Trainees can schedule to attend from 1 to 8 weeks.

  • Hands-on Training: $6,000/week.
  • Preceptorship Training: $3,500/week.
  • Hybrid Training: $6,000/week.

Please note: 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.

How to Apply

How to Apply

The first step is to complete and submit the pre-application form.

Our office will contact you shortly thereafter.