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The new paradigm in surgical learning and teaching

CosMentor Frequently Asked Questions

What is CosMentor?
CosMentor is a web-platform that allows case-based teaching over the Internet. It was designed over the previous decade to allow experts to bring the cumulative knowledge found in books and journals to the specific examples of actual ongoing care of individual patients.

How does it work?
CosMentor securely stores your case images in Case-Vault™ and allows you to reach out and gain advice from a respected collection of experts who will act as your Mentor. This makes it easy for the experienced surgeons to provide one-on-one, case-based teaching to other surgeons who are keen to pursue continuous improvement.

Start by uploading your cases. You can then choose to ask for Mentoring advice or just use the service to curate your personal collection of cases for use at a later date. You'll find a highly refined image management system that is accessible from you Mac or Windows PC at any time you have internet access. You nurture the patient relationship, the Mentors provide the surgical expertise; CosMentor provides the platform to make it easy to share and retain this knowledge.

Why case based learning?
What better way to navigate the large amount of available information than to be guided by someone who has been down the same path? On your own, it can be very difficult to know how best to treat a specific patient - they always differ from the examples given in textbooks and lectures! Surgery involves varied skills, many of which cannot be learned from reading or attending conferences. Direct coaching and observation by an experienced mentor is the gold standard for teaching surgical skills, but is not practical for practicing surgeons. CosMentor has designed a system to allow for case-based teaching that does not require the Mentor and Mentee surgeons to be side by side in the OR. Just imagine being able to ask questions and get personalized answers tailored to your individual case.

Who benefits?
Everyone benefits:

How secure is CosMentor?
The security and privacy of you and your patient's information is of utmost importance. The site is located in the United States inside a highly secure datacenter which is SAS 70 certified. The latest and most up to date Cloud hosted Windows 2008 R2 servers are positioned behind multiple layers of protective Firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems. All data transmission from to your web browser uses 128 bit encryption (HTTPS/SSL), the same technology used worldwide for online credit card purchases. We never have access to your password, so if you forget it, you'll need to reset it (don't worry; we can help you with that). No patient data of any kind (text data, conversations or photos) is ever stored on your personal computer; all information is stored on our secured servers and transmitted to you on demand. This means you can have access to your data from any computer with internet access.

Who can sign up?
Only practicing physicians who are licensed to perform the procedures are invited to join.

How do I sign up?
Click on the button that says 'Sign up Now' and complete the form. Once you have confirmed your email address, you are ready to start!

How do I upload images?
Open or create a new case, Click 'Add Files' and select the files to be added. On Windows machines, it is even easier - you can drag and drop them into the appropriate Imageset. This makes organizing your images a joy rather than an ordeal.

Can my patients see the case?
Patients do not have access to use CosMentor however, you can show them their images on your computer screen or you can save screen shots and give them to the patient.

How does payment work?
All payments are handled by PayPal and so you will need an account to send or receive money.

What if there is a payment dispute?
CosMentor facilitates the relationship between Mentor and Mentee but payment disputes will be handled by PayPal.

Will the mentor get dragged into lawsuits?
The express purpose of all activity on CosMentor is teaching and is similar to a peer review. There is NEVER direct patient care delivered by the mentoring physician and ALL care decisions are made SOLELY by the treating physician and patient. Although lawsuits cannot be completely prevented, there is very little liability associated with teaching.

How long are the cases stored?
The cases are stored for a long enough period to complete the teaching. Longer term storage and storage of non-teaching cases can be purchased when desired.

I love the image management tools. How do I store my plastic surgery images online in the cloud?
We love the imaging tools too and so you can simply upload your cases and then purchase one of our long-term storage packages.

Can I upload my old cases that I have stored on my machines, hard drives and servers?
Yes, you can use CosMentor as your personal case archive.

Can I choose more than one mentor?
Yes, you can chose as many mentors as desired – each will have a unique perspective on the case that may provide very interesting.

Can I use this for board cases?
There are no restrictions that would preclude use of this to prepare for boards, and seeking expert teaching on your own cases would help you to prepare.

Does the Mentor need to know who I am?
No, the mentor will only see the alias name that you use. You can inform the mentor of your alias if you wish , and you can change your alias name at any time if you desire privacy.

Will the mentor see the patient's name?
No, this is suppressed for privacy reasons.

Mentoring Questions

The following questions are related to the topic of Mentoring.

How do I become a mentor?
Once you have established an account and logged in, select "edit profile" and then press the button called 'click here to request mentor status'.

Why do faculty members do this?
Faculty members genuinely love to teach and understand that teachers always learn from their students. Also, it provides them a way to earn money while away from the OR.

How much should the mentor charge?
The mentor should charge enough to make it worth their valuable time. CosMentor has designed the software to make it highly efficient for the mentor, in order to keep these costs as low as possible.


PDF document
Surgeon Overview
A Surgeon's Quickstart Guide
PDF document
Mentor Overview
A Mentor's Quickstart Guide
Microsoft Word document
Patient Consent form
Consent for Case Collaboration
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