About Us

About ASC

More than four hundred years after Rembrandt visited an anatomy lesson and created his world-famous painting, we reveal the Amsterdam Skills Centre for Health Sciences only a few miles from where the operational theatre of the famous Dr. Nicolaes Tulp once was.

The ASC vision on training

On average, it takes more than 30.000 hours of learning and practising on the job before one is allowed to operate independently and lead a surgical team. Almost four times more than is required to train a helicopterpilot, or three times the time it took Jimi Hendrix to become the world’s best guitar player.

The ‘training on the job’ programs need to be replaced by high quality, time efficient and low cost ‘training off the job’ programs. The rapid progress of digital resources varying from e-books to virtual reality training with haptic feedback, feasibility of telementoring, the advances of artificial intelligence allowing decision support and image guidance and the availability of novel techniques to preserve human tissue provide the components to build a new training off the job curriculum, a ‘New Way of Learning’, which will enable the novice to master abilities and the expert to maintain abilities through a lifelong learning cycle.

The ASC way

Building a New Way of Learning can only be done by working as a team across disciplines, across universities, across borders. The Amsterdam Skills Centre will provide some elements of the New Way of Learning: a state of the art operating theatre with 12 operating tables providing training of complex procedures on preserved human tissue, surgical robots, training on virtual reality simulators, virtual reality and video animations of interventions, a digital learning environment and conferencerooms for 200 people.

The ASC is an incubator for faculty from the Amsterdam University Medical Centre, other universities in the Netherlands, in Europe and far beyond. An incubator where people and resources are connected to build a New Way of Learning. The goal of a New way of Learning for the low and middle income countries is to build a scalable, low cost and mobile learning environment which can be implemented on-site. Teach the teacher courses will be provided at the ASC with the objective that these teachers will train others on site to become teachers.

The Centre: a new home for training

Health care professionals from the Netherlands, other European countries and from countries far beyond Europe will train at the Amsterdam Skills Centre. The ASC is a 3,700 m2 facility on 10,000 m2 land of AMC 15 minutes from Schiphol airport. The construction of the Amsterdam Skills Centre is officially opened on February 4, 2019.

Partnerships & Global Misson

The Amsterdam Skills Centre is a not for profit company which is fully owned by Amsterdam University Medical Centre. It has teamed up with Stryker, a global medical technology company, to set up the facility. Stryker has invested in the building of the centre and supplied the equipment for the training sessions.

Five billion people, two thirds of the global population, have poor or no access to basic surgical procedures such as Caesarian Section, laparotomy for acute abdominal disorders, groin hernia repairs and management of fractures. Annually more than 140 million additional surgeries should be performed to address the basic needs. This means that per minute 271 life and limb saving surgeries fail to be performed. The burden of surgically treatable conditions is greater than that of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. More than two million surgical staff need to be trained to address the global need for surgery.

The Amsterdam Skills Centre is building the next generation learning platform to generate, apply & spread the knowledge about new ways of surgical learning, training & teaching - making a difference for all people, near and far, across all borders.

To address this mission the ASC teamed up with Stryker and has signed memoranda of understanding with Digital Surgery (develops interactive virtual reality animations of surgical and medical interventions), MOOG (develops medical virtual reality simulators for dentistry and cataract surgery) and Incision (develops video animations of surgical procedures).

The ASC invites all parties to participate, contribute or partner, and join us in this global challenge.