Faculty Development for the Operating Room: An Examination of the Effectiveness of an Intraoperative Teaching Course for Surgeons

Aimee K. Gardner, Matthew D. Timberlake, Brian J. Dunkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: We describe a half-day faculty development course designed to equip surgical educators with evidence-based teaching frameworks shown to promote learning in the operating room (OR). We hypothesize that participating faculty will deliver improved instruction as perceived by residents. Methods: Residents anonymously rated faculty teaching behaviors among whom they had recently worked in the OR (minimum 3 cases in preceding 6 months) using the Briefing - Intraoperative teaching - Debriefing Assessment Tool (BIDAT; 1 = never, 5 = always). Faculty then attended a half-day course. The curriculum was based on the "briefing-intraoperative teaching-debriefing" framework. Discussion and practice centered on goal setting, performance-enhancing instruction, dual task interference, and feedback. After the course, residents again evaluated the faculty. Paired-samples and independent-samples t tests were used to analyze pre and post course changes and differences between groups, respectively. Results: Nineteen faculty completed the course. Associate professors (N = 4) demonstrated improved briefing (4.32 ± 0.48 → 4.76 ± 0.45, P < 0.01), debriefing (4.30 ± 0.29 → 4.77 ± 0.43, P < 0.01), and total teaching (4.38 ± 0.78 → 4.79 ± 0.39, P < 0.05). No significant changes were observed among assistant (N = 9) or full professors (N = 6). All 3 faculty members who served as course co-instructors, regardless of rank, improved significantly in briefing (4.42 ± 0.22 → 4.98 ± 0.29, P < 0.05), debriefing (4.27 ± 0.23 → 4.98 ± 0.29, P < 0.04), and total teaching (4.37 ± 0.21 → 4.99 ± 0.02, P < 0.05). Faculty with baseline teaching scores in the bottom quartile improved teaching behaviors in all phases of instruction (P < 0.05). Teaching scores over the same period did not change among faculty who did not attend. Conclusions: A half-day course aimed at enhancing intraoperative instruction can contribute to resident-perceived improvement in structured teaching behavior among participating faculty. Initiatives directed at intraoperative instruction might be best targeted towards midlevel faculty with established technical expertise who are motivated to expand teaching efforts and those who have low levels of baseline teaching scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • debriefing
  • faculty development
  • intraoperative teaching
  • operating room teaching
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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