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History of the Center

Formerly The Temporal Bone Laboratory, the Jorge N. Buxton, M.D., Microsurgical Education Center located on the 5th Floor of the South Building, officially opened in September 2004.

The Laboratory's Early Stages

History of the Microsurgical Dissection Laboratory

Hands-on study of specimens prior to entering the operating room has a long history at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE). For many years, starting early in the 20th century, Dr. Edgar Burchell created a world-famous teaching collection of anatomy and pathology of the eyes and ears.   He left a library of hundreds of temporal bones, and his study of the seventh, or facial, nerve taught generations of surgeons the means to minimize operative danger of disfigurement.

In 1958 New York Eye and Ear Infirmary established its first official Temporal Bone Laboratory, which consisted of one teaching station equipped with hammers and chisels and plaster molds to anchor the temporal bone. Several years later, a second station was installed with a microscope and a drill system.  This facility was used until 1972.

 A Larger Lab, A Leader In The Field

In the early 70's, illustrious otolaryngologist and NYEE alumnus Young Bin Choo, MD, successfully acquired a $100,000 grant from the Guggenheim Foundation to construct an 11- station, state-of-the-art Temporal Bone Laboratory. The designer was Jack Urban, who designed the only other Laboratory of its kind in the world for the House Otology Group.

More than 1,800 physicians were trained in this Laboratory under the direction of Emmett E. Campbell, MD, otologist and another graduate of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's otolaryngology program (Class of 1959).  Dr. Campbell offered courses to residents and attending physicians, many of whom came from around the world including Australia, Canada, Egypt, Great Britain, Japan, India, Iran, Ireland and the Philippines to attend his courses.

In 1995, Christopher J. Linstrom, MD, assumed the role as the Lab's Medical Director and carried on the tradition of offering highly regarded temporal bone dissection courses to residents and attending physicians.

Jorge N. Buxton Microsurgical Educational Center Multi-Purpose Facility

Ribbon Cutting at NYEE Microsurgical Dissection Laboratory

The creation of the new Center was possible by generous donations by Alcon Laboratories, Inc., the Charles and Mildred Schumacher Foundation, Ambrose Monell Foundation and many physicians and friends of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Named after one of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's most prestigious ophthalmologists, Jorge N. Buxton, MD, it was expanded to 16 work stations, each equipped with state of the art microscopes and dissection equipment for temporal bone surgery, ophthalmologic surgery, head and neck dissection, sinus surgery, and plastic surgery.

This Center bridges the gap between academic medicine and the operating room, providing both residents in training and physicians in practice the opportunity to develop and refine their surgical skills before entering the operating room.

NYEE Microsurgical Dissection LaboratoryJoseph Arigo, MD, assumed the responsibilities as medical director of the Laboratory from 2003-2008. He put together extensive hands-on dissection programs in temporal bone surgery under his direction, head and neck anatomy courses under the direction of Stimson Schantz, MD, sinus surgery under the direction of Steven Schaefer, MD, and skull base surgery under the direction of Drs. George Alexiades and Christopher Linstrom.

The Department of Ophthalmology also uses the new facility extensively.

One of the most unique features of resident training is the EyeSi microsurgical simulator which uses advanced computer technology to give the feel of experiencing intraocular surgery. Manipulating instruments while using foot pedals to focus the microscope helps residents refine the hand, eye and foot coordination that goes into real minimally invasive eye surgery before utilizing actual equipment in the operating room.  A supervising surgeon can watch the operation on a large plasma screen and offer critique.  

The new technology has rapidly become an important foundation of the training process and unanimously meets with positive feedback.

Bridging the labs old and new. and coordinating activities for all courses, is Arthur Tortorelli, who has been Technical Director of the facilities since 1977.

Because the previous Laboratory was designed for temporal bone dissection, course offerings were limited by the design features. The Jorge N. Buxton, M.D. Microsurgical Education Center was designed to enable all disciplines at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary to offer courses that were not previously possible in the old facility. 

NYEE recognizes the significance of surgical training before entering the operating room. Therefore, it makes the Jorge N. Buxton, MD Microsurgical Education Center available for individual use, group use or use by other residency programs in the tri-state area. Inquiries may be directed to atortorelli@nyee.edu.

Contact Us

Arthur Tortorelli, Technical Director, Jorge N. Buxton, MD Microsurgical Education CenterTel: (212) 979-4196

Address310 East 14th Street
South Building, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

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