Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons | About


About SLS

SLS is the Top MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) Society in North America, and perhaps worldwide, with over 6000 active members. Many Laparoscopic and MIS specialties are represented; the main three are Surgical Endoscopy, Gyn Laparoscopy, and Endourology. SLS’ focus is multispecialty, providing a multidisciplinary education by giving a comprehensive view that is more inline with better physician orientation and patient outcome.

Under the leadership of Paul Alan Wetter, MD and Janis Chinnock Wetter, SLS continues to grow, with a professional, non-profit, virtual in-house publishing staff, equipped with state-of-the-art computing and web tools that produce innovative and popular journals, meetings, textbooks and websites.

JSLS – JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF LAPAROENDOSCOPIC SURGEONS, is the Most Read MIS Journal, with over 1.2 Million downloads in 2015. JSLS is under the editorial leadership of Michael S. Kavic, MD.  A peer reviewed, index medicus journal that was first published in January 1997.  Today it is available in print as well as online with open access for download.  Recognized around the world as the leading MIS publication, JSLS continues to expand and has repeatedly placed in the TOP 100 of 15,000 scientific publications on IngentaConnect for full-text downloads.  This is a monumental achievement for a specialty society journal.

Prevention & Management of Laparoendoscopic Surgical Complications. A Textbook originally published in 1999, and a Second Edition in 2006. It has been translated into Chinese and Portuguese and is popular around the world. The online version of the first edition is unlike any other medical textbook and was the first of its kind to also be published online, with advanced Web 2.0+ features, including the ability for any Surgeon to access the open access information for free, from theircomputer, cell phone or PDA, right at the patient’s bedside or OR.

SLS’s Family of linked websites and, provide powerful search engines to find information when, and where it is needed. A quick overview of valuable information from Meetings, Journals, Books and the Web to get you the information you need quickly.

The Center of the Endo Universe
SLS – Focus Clarity Innovation

Mission Statement

The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) is a non-profit, multidisciplinary and multispecialty educational organization established to provide an open forum for surgeons and other health professionals interested in minimally invasive surgery and therapy.

SLS endeavors to improve patient care and promote the highest standards of practice through education, training, and information distribution. SLS provides a forum for the introduction, discussion and dissemination of new and established ideas, techniques and therapies in minimal access surgery.

A fundamental goal of SLS is ensuring that its members have access to the newest ideas and approaches, as rapidly as possible. SLS makes information available from national and international experts through its publications, videos, conferences, and other electronic media.


  • Provide an efficient, centralized source of information and instruction for surgeons and other health professionals through high quality educational opportunities, publications, videos, website content, and other electronic media.
  • Promote continuous improvements in the standards of practice of laparoendoscopic surgery through education and training.
  • Encourage scientific study and its publication.
  • Recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to minimal access surgery.
  • Encourage and support hospitals, medical schools, postgraduate educational programs and other entities in the provision of high-quality programs and training in laparoendoscopic surgery and related techniques.
  • Collaborate with other organizations to maximize benefit to our members, other health professionals and patients.


The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) is a non-profit, multidisciplinary and multispecialty educational organization established to provide an open forum for surgeons and other health professionals interested in minimally invasive surgery and therapy. SLS is committed to attaining the highest standards of educational quality.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of our CME program is to:

  1. Stimulate interest, inform, enhance skills, and foster the productive exchange of ideas, approaches, and experiences among practitioners who use and contribute to laparoscopic, endoscopic, and minimally invasive surgery.
  2. Enhance the quality of teaching and learning in laparoscopic, endoscopic, and minimally invasive surgery.
  3. Focus on the knowledge, competence or performance needs of practitioners to improve practice and clinical outcomes.
  4. Improve the quality, safety and outcomes of patient care through educational opportunities and bridges with other entities and stakeholders.

CONTENT AREAS:  SLS is an educational and information dissemination organization, focusing mainly on those issues, techniques, skills, and strategies that will enhance the quality of laparoscopic, endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery and improve the ability of physicians to prevent and manage complications related to these procedures. SLS content will improve the quality of patient care by increasing clinical competence and performance by increasing the knowledge of participating practitioners and by striving to identify and reduce the barriers to change.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Our primary audience is comprised of physicians in various specialties, who use or who want to use laparoscopic, endoscopic, and/or minimally invasive surgical techniques, including those who teach in this field. Our secondary audience is comprised of other health professionals, including nurses, technicians, midlevel providers, and others, who work with and support those who make up our primary audience.
TYPE OF ACTIVITIES:  SLS fulfills its CME mission through interactive, innovative educational conferences, postgraduate courses, and workshops using experts in laparoscopic, endoscopic, and minimally invasive surgery and in education as presenters, faculty, workshop leaders, and as facilitators of the exchange of information and understanding among peers. SLS interacts with other national and international professional organizations with similar goals to promote professional dialogue and understanding that will catalyze change and improve patient care.
EXPECTED RESULTS: SLS endeavors to continually improve and expand its educational offerings in its role as a leader in laparoscopic, endoscopic, and minimally invasive surgical education. The CME programs offered will be consistent with the intent of the essential requirements for CME of per ACCME criteria. Measurement of continuous improvement in these activities will be developed and will include, but not be limited to, the following indicators:

  • Participant evaluation average scores of at least 4.0 or 80% (out of 5.0) with regard to content quality and relevance, and appropriate teaching methodology for its CME activities.
  • Improvement in the educational content of its CME activities by enlisting experts in the field to review course offerings and incorporating adult education strategies in its programming.
  • Increased interaction among the various specialties that use minimally invasive techniques and with professional and specialty organizations with similar interests and goals.
  • Increased attendance by the target audience in its programs, and hits to the SLS website.
  • Increased knowledge and comprehension of minimally invasive surgery procedures and techniques for the targeted audience as measured by a sampling of periodic course testing or a sampling of skills testing by simulation as may be appropriate to the educational activity.
  • Increased knowledge of strategies to recognize, address and minimize potential complications of minimally invasive surgery as measured by a sampling of periodic course testing or a sampling of skills testing by simulation as may be appropriate to the educational activity.
  • Evaluation of the impact on improvements in patient safety, quality improvement and clinical outcomes by monitoring publications in the peer reviewed literature and/or through studies conducted in collaboration with other organizations or entities as may be relevant to these topics.
  • Opportunities for the exchange and transfer of information to professionals, as well as to the general public, as is appropriate and prudent through the website, publications and other activities.


In order to provide a high level of continuing medical education for its members, The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) follows the Essential Areas and Criteria of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in planning and developing CME Activities.

To help as a planning guide SLS has a CME mission statement, which includes the CME purpose, content areas, target audience, and type of activities provided. SLS also identifies the expected results of its CME activity. This is reviewed on at least an annual basis, by the CME Committee, Board of Trustees and CME staff and published in the activity syllabi.

SLS identifies the educational needs and desired results for all CME activities. This is done using numerous methods: a needs assessment, which encompasses surveys of members; post conference evaluation sessions with feedback from faculty, participants, board members, and other experts as well as literature reviews. A statement of purpose or objectives is provided to the learners so that they are informed prior to the activity. This is usually provided in the conference brochure. The effectiveness of the CME activity in meeting the identified educational needs is accomplished by evaluations which are provided in the syllabus and summarized and evaluated by the CME Committee, Board of Trustees, Faculty, Program Directors, and CME Coordinator. Input is also obtained from correspondence and post conference evaluation sessions, which is a separate short meeting at the conclusion of each CME activity. Based on this and other information, the CME process is reviewed several times a year by the staff, Board of Trustees, CME Committee and Education Committee and recommendations are made for improvements to the CME program.

SLS has an organizational structure that supports our CME activities. An organization chart outlines the various resources and how they function. This chart shows the relationship of our Staff, CME Committee, Education Committee, and Board of Trustees with regard to CME. There is also a written business and management policy manual that relates to human resources, financial affairs and legal obligations. This helps SLS administer these obligations and ensures that obligations are met. Information on disclosure and commercial support is provided in the syllabus for each CME activity, so that participants are made aware at the time of presentations of any relationships that speakers have with industry.

In order to achieve a level of CME excellence for our members, SLS has developed a “Template of Excellence.” This document lists various examples of innovative ideas that SLS utilizes to exceed the basic level of compliance required by the ACCME. SLS looks forward to input from you in order to continue to improve these processes and provide you with a meaningful continuing medical education in minimally invasive surgery.