Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Ross E. Willis, Ph.D.



Dr. Willis's research interests include surgical education, team performance and training, individual differences in the acquisition of surgical skills and adaptive instructional techniques.

Selected Publications

Al Fayyadh MJ, Hassan RA, Tran ZK, Kempenich JW, Bunegin L, Dent DL, Willis RE. Immediate auditory feedback is superior to other types of feedback for basic surgical skills acquisition. Journal of Surgical Education 2017;74(6)

Willis RE, Wiersch J, Adams AJ, Al Fayyadh MJ, Weber RA, Wang HT. Development and evaluation of a simulation model for microvascular anastomosis training. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery 2017:33(7): 493-501.

Kempenich JW, Willis RE, Blue RJ, Al Fayyadh MJ, Cromer RM, Schenarts PJ, Van Sickle KR, Dent DL. The effect of patient education on the perceptions of resident participation in surgical care. Journal of Surgical Education2016;73(6):111-117.

Willis RE, Dent DL, Love JD, Kempenich JW, Uecker J, Brown KM, Thomas JS, Gomez PP, Adams AJ, Admire JR, Sprunt JM, Kahrig KM, Wiggins-Dohlvik K. Predicting and enhancing American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination performance: Does writing questions really help? American Journal of Surgery2016;211(2):361-368.

Adams AJ, Wasson EA, Admire JR, Gomez PP, Babayeuski RA, Sako EY, Willis RE. A Comparison of Teaching Modalities and Fidelity of Simulation Levels in Teaching Resuscitation Scenarios. Journal of Surgical Education 2015;72:778-785.

Admire JR, Pounds LL, Adams AJ, Gomez PP, Willis RE. Development and construct validity of a low fidelity training platform for driving large and small suture needles. Journal of Surgical Education 2015;72:387-393.

Sirinek KR, Willis RE, Stewart RM. Geographic maldistribution of general surgery PGY1 residents: Another US surgical desert.American Journal of Surgery 2014 Oct;208(6):1023-1028.

Gomez PP, Willis RE, Van Sickle KR. Development of a virtual reality robotic surgical curriculum using the Da Vinci SI surgical system. Surgical Endoscopy 2014; Epub ahead of print. 

Gomez PP, Willis RE, Van Sickle KR. Evaluation of two flexible endoscopy simulators and transfer of skills into clinical practice.Journal of Surgical Education (in press).

Gomez PP, Willis RE, Schiffer BL, Gardner AK, Scott DJ. External validation and evaluation of an intermediate proficiency-based knot-tying and suturing curriculum. Journal of Surgical Education (in press).

Willis RE, Gomez PP, Ivatury SJ, Mitra HS, Van Sickle KR. Virtual reality simulators: Valuable surgical skills trainers or video games? Journal of Surgical Education 2014 May;71(3):426-433.

Gomez PP, Willis RE, Jaramillo LA. Evaluation of a dedicated, surgery-oriented visiting international medical student program.Journal of Surgical Education 2014 May;71(3): 325-328.

Willis RE, Curry E, Gomez PP. Practice schedules for surgical skills: the role of task characteristics and proactive interference on psychomotor skills acquisition. J Surg Educ. 2013 Nov-Dec;70(6):789-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2013.06.014. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Willis RE, Peterson RM, Dent DL. Usefulness of the American College of Surgeons' Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum as a knowledge preparatory tool for incoming surgery interns. Am J Surg. 2013 Feb;205(2):131-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.11.001.

Willis RE, Van Sickle KR, Peterson RM. Impact of non-clinical years on surgery residents' technical skills: Evaluation of a technical skills refresher curriculum. Surg Sci. 2013;4:1-5.

Hafford ML, Van Sickle KR, Willis RE, Wilson TD, Gugliuzza K, Brown KM, Scott DJ. Ensuring competency: Are Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery training and certification necessary for practicing surgeons and operating room personnel? Surg Endosc. 2013;27:118-126.

Willis RE, Richa J, Oppeltz R, Nguyen P, Wagner K, Van Sickle KR, Dent DL. Comparing three pedagogical approaches to psychomotor skills acquisition. Am J Surg. 2012 Jan;203(1):8-13. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Corneille MG, Willis RE, Stewart RM, Dent DL. Performance on Brief Practice Exam Identifies Residents at Risk for Poor ABSITE and ABS Qualifying Exam Performance. J Surg Ed. 2011;68:246-249.

Willis RE, Coverdill JE, Mellinger JD, Collins JC, Potts JR 3rd, Dent DL. Views of surgery program directors on the current ACGME and proposed IOM duty-hour standards. J Surg Educ. 2009 Jul-Aug;66(4):216- 21.e1-10.

Wiggins-Dohlvik K, Stewart RM, Babbitt RJ, Gelfond J, Zarzabal LA, Willis RE. Surgeons' Performance During Critical Situations: Competence, Confidence, and Composure. Am J Surg. 209;198:817-823.

Associate Professor, Research, Department of Surgery
Director of Surgical Education
Director, UTHSCSA Johnson Center for Surgical Education


Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, Texas Tech University, 1999

M.A., Human Factors Psychology, Texas Tech University, 1995

B.A., Psychology, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1992



Phone: 210-567-5721

Research Profile
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Graduate Students

Mohammed Al Fayyadh